Cebu Pacific is in discussion with Airbus and Boeing for an order of up to 150 narrowbody aircraft, in what could be the Philippine’s largest aircraft commitment.
In a stock exchange filing on 20 October, the low-cost operator confirmed media reports of the discussions, but stresses that a “firm commitment to purchase aircraft… will only be made at the successful conclusion of such [a] process”.
It has issued a request for proposals (RFP) to Airbus and Boeing for between 100 and 150 new aircraft. The two airframers have until the end of the year to respond.
“Issuing the RFP is the first step in a meticulously planned process, which will involve a thorough technical and economic evaluation of Boeing’s and Airbus’ narrowbody aircraft,” says Cebu Pacific.
Media reports, citing airline executives, state that the deal could be worth at least $12 billion, according to list prices.
Cebu Pacific adds that it hopes to double its fleet by 2035, as travel demand holds strong following the Covid-19 pandemic. The airline currently has a fleet of more than 70 aircraft, comprising Airbus A320-family jets, A330s, as well as ATR 72 turboprops.
Airline chief Mike Szucs was also quoted as saying that Philippine carriers will need to quadruple in size over the next 20 years to take advantage of growth opportunities in the region.
Cebu Pacific, the Philippines’ largest low-cost operator, posted an operating profit of Ps2.5 billion ($44 million) in the three months ended 30 June, the second consecutive quarter of profitability.