Cebu Pacific will add 12 new aircraft to its fleet this year, as it enters the next stage of expansion with the delivery of the re-engined Airbus A320 family aircraft.

In a press event in Manila to mark the entry of its first A321neo, the carrier says it will take delivery of six A321neos, five A320neos and an ATR 72-600 over the next 12 months.

“2019 is the year we accelerate growth. On average, we will be receiving one brand new aircraft per month which we can use to increase capacity in key markets or even launch new routes. For 2019, we expect capacity to grow from low to mid-teens,” says president and chief executive Lance Gokongwei.

The Philippine low-cost carrier says the 236-seat A321neo help it maximise precious airport slots at Manila’s congested Ninoy Aquino International. Its longer range will also allow the carrier explore new destinations in India, Russia, northern Japan and Australia.

Its first A321neo is currently operating domestically to Cebu, but will soon be put into service to Denpasar and Tokyo Narita.

The Philippine low-cost carrier took delivery of its first A321neo earlier this month, after several rounds of delays. It had initially deferred deliveries of its 32 A321neos to the fourth quarter of 2018 due to delays with the Pratt & Whitney PW1100G engines. This was further pushed into 2019 as Airbus experienced production challenges due to customization complexity and a shift to higher levels of automation.

Cebu Pacific has 36 A320s, seven A321ceos, one A321neo, eight A330s and 20 ATR 72s in its fleet, which averages five-year-old.

Source: Cirium Dashboard