Cebu Pacific Air has confirmed that it expects to take delivery of its first Airbus A321neo in the first quarter of 2019, as it received its final A321ceo.
The latest delivery completes the Philippine low-cost carrier’s order for seven A321ceos, all of which were delivered in the last 10 months.
In November, the airline’s chief operations adviser Rick Howell told FlightGlobal that it had yet to receive a firm timeline from Airbus on the delivery of its first A321neo, after the passing of the contracted delivery date. He added that the first aircraft is likely to be delivered in January, but at that time it had not been confirmed.
Cebu Pacific is expecting seat growth of 10-12% next year. To support expansion plans, it will also take delivery of five A320neos through operating leases from Avolon in 2019, with deliveries commencing in the first half of the year. It also expects delivery of four ATR 72-600s between 2019 and 2022, for use on inter-island routes.
The airline initially deferred deliveries of its 32 A321neos on order to the fourth quarter of 2018, due to delays with the Pratt & Whitney PW1100G engines. When it made the announcement in June 2017, it also ordered seven A321ceos.
Airbus is facing customisation complexity on the A321neo as well as a shift to new automation. These have exacerbated earlier A320neo production problems, caused by technical snags and shortages of PW1100G engines.