Cebu Pacific orders 16 airplanes in $673-M deal

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 16 2015 05:41 PM | Updated as of Jun 17 2015 02:43 AM

MANILA (UPDATED) – Gokongwei-led Cebu Pacific said on Tuesday it ordered 16 ATR 72-600 aircraft as part of the airline's fleet renewal program.

Cebu Pacific ordered the aircraft from European turboprop jet manufacturer ATR in a deal worth $673 million. The deal also includes options to acquire an additional 10 ATR 72-600.

The airline is expecting to double its turboprop fleet size with the transaction, which is subject to the execution of final purchase documentation.

It will allow Cebu Pacific to expand its operations not only on main airports but also to several other airports around the country.

The ATR 72-600 will be equipped, for the first time, with the widest cabin in the turboprop market. It will be equipped with 78 slim-line seats and wider overhead bins with 30 percent more stowage space.

“We are very pleased to be the launch customer of this new configuration of the ATR 72-600, as this will allow us to offer our customers more seats at even lower fares,” Cebu Pacific president and chief executive Lance Gokongwei said.

The delivery of the new aircraft will start in the third quarter of 2016.

Cebu Pacific earlier said it flew more passengers in the first four months of the year compared to the passenger volume posted in the same period last year.

The budget airline said Cebu Pacific and Cebgo flew nearly 6 million passengers from January to April 2015, about 11 percent more than the 5.37 million in the same period last year.

It recently launched direct flights to Doha, Qatar as it continues to beef up its long-haul routes including Dubai, Riyadh, Sydney, and Kuwait.

The airline is planning to mount direct flights to Hawaii and Guam within the year.