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New aircraft orders continue for Airbus
Order growth for Airbus continues as it secures two firm orders for new aircraft. The first comes from Cebu Pacific (CEB), a carrier based in the Philippines, for 16 long-range A330neo aircraft. The order firms up the wide-body portion of a previously announced Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), which also includes commitments for 10 A321XLR and five A320neo single-aisle aircraft.
The A330neo ordered by Cebu Pacific is a higher-capacity version of the A330-900, with up to 460 seats in a single-class configuration. Cebu Pacific plans to operate the aircraft on trunk routes within the Philippines and the rest of Asia, as well as on longer range services to Australia and the Middle East.
Lance Gokongwei, Cebu Pacific President and CEO, said: “The A330neo is integral to our fleet modernisation program. With this purchase, we aim to reduce our fuel emission and build a more sustainable operation. This will also give us the lowest cost per seat, at the same time enabling CEB to increase seat capacity and maximize valuable airport slots in Manila and other Asian megacities.”
Christian Scherer, Airbus Chief Commercial Officer, added: “Cebu Pacific is a pace-setter and surely one of the most respected and well managed airlines in the low-cost sector. This new order is another important endorsement for the value-based proposition that the A330neo brings to highly competitive markets. The increased capacity version of the aircraft developed for Cebu Pacific will help achieve even greater efficiencies for high density regional and long range routes.”
The A330neo family incorporates the latest-generation Trent 7000 engines from Rolls-Royce and a new wing, the aircraft offers a reduction in fuel consumption of 25% compared with older generation competing products as well as an extended range capability of up to 8,000 nautical miles.
The second order comes from Vietnamese carrier Vietjet, who will add 15 A321XLR’s to its fleet, plus the conversion of five A321neo aircraft from its existing backlog. The announcement was made during a visit to Airbus headquarters in Toulouse by Vietjet President & CEO Nguyen Thi Phuong Thao, hosted by Airbus CEO Guillaume Faury.
During the visit, the airline also signed a new training agreement with Airbus Services. This will see Airbus position two new A320 family full flight simulators at the carrier’s training centre in Ho Chi Minh City. Airbus will also provide a range of training services to the airline and its instructors.
Vietjet will be among the first airlines to receive the A321XLR. The addition of the aircraft to its fleet will allow Vietjet to expand further its network, flying longer routes across Asia, as well as to destinations as far afield as Australia and Russia.
Nguyen Thi Phuong Thao, Vietjet President & CEO, said: “Vietjet has always been a pioneer in operating new, modern, advanced and fuel-efficient aircraft. We are proud of operating one of the world’s youngest Airbus fleets with an average age of only 2.7 years and this has contributed greatly to Vietjet’s success over the past years. Following the signing of this contract, the new A321XLR will be the perfect upgrade to Vietjet’s fleet as we look to grow our international flight network.”
“Vietjet is one of the fastest growing carriers in the Asian region and we feel proud to have the A321XLR joining its fleet,” said Airbus CEO Guillaume Faury. “This order is another strong endorsement of our decision to bring true long range capability to the singe aisle market with the A321XLR, enabling airlines to extend their networks at the lowest possible cost. Furthermore, we are also pleased to develop further our collaboration with Vietjet in the area of training.”
Vietjet has now ordered a total of 186 A320 family aircraft, of which 60 have been delivered. The airline’s outstanding Airbus backlog is entirely composed of A321neo aircraft.