The CAPA Centre for Aviation reports that low-cost carrier Cebu Pacific is eyeing more orders for long-haul, wide-body aircraft in order to facilitate expansion into the United States and other long haul destinations. Among the options Cebu Pacific is considering are the Airbus A350, Boeing 787, and upcoming Airbus A330neo.
|Copyright photo: Angelo Agcamaran/PPSG|
Cebu Pacific already has a presence in the United States with a flight to Guam. However, it hopes to mount flights to the US mainland, particularly the state of California, one of the largest Filipino markets that is yet to be served by the low-cost carrier. These plans have been put in the spotlight after the Federal Aviation Administration restored Category 1 status on the Philippines. This status allows the addition of new flights into the United States and expansion of existing services.
The low-cost carrier now has seven Airbus A330-300s in its fleet with one more expected to arrive in the first half of 2017. The aircraft seats up to 436 passengers in an all-economy class configuration.
It also began its foray into long-haul flights in 2013 when it flew to Dubai's International Airport. It has also made inroads into the Australian market with flights to Sydney, Australia. There have also been plans to make Rome as its first European destination, although it is unclear how much of a priority this is even as the carrier has been removed from a European Union blacklist of carriers deemed unsafe to fly into the 27-member bloc.
An increasing number of low-cost carriers have initiated long-haul flights or operated wide-body aircraft in recent years. One of the most prominent examples is AirAsia through its brand Air Asia X, which operates Airbus A330s to Japan, China, India, and Australia.