Saturday, May 4, 2013

First Glimpse of Cebu Pacific's Brand New Airbus A330-300 Aircraft


Here is the exclusive first glimpse of Cebu Pacific's very first brand new 436-seat Airbus A330-300 aircraft fresh off the assembly line at the Airbus factory in Toulouse, France. The aircraft symbolizes a new era for Cebu Pacific and Philippine travellers as it enables the airline to launch budget flights in the long-haul market serving destinations in the Middle East, Australia, and United States. Cebu Pacific's first long-haul destination will be Dubai, United Arab Emirates with the route launch scheduled for October 7, 2013.

cebu pacific airbus a330
Cebu Pacific's first 436-seat Airbus A330-300 aircraft
Source: DoubleDecker.boards.net
Cebu Pacific's first Airbus A330-300 aircraft is anticipated to arrive in the Philippines in June 2013. According to Alex Reyes, General Manager of Cebu Pacific's long-haul division, the first aircraft will be used to operate regional routes. Although no formal announcements have been made, it has been speculated that the first aircraft will be deployed on Manila-Hong Kong and Manila-Singapore routes. Those routes could be better served from an economical perspective by the A330 rather than an A320. However, Cebu Pacific may also deploy the aircraft to smaller markets where it cannot expand due to slot restrictions like Shanghai Pudong.

Cebu Pacific placed an order for a total of eight A330-300 aircraft. One will be dedicated to regional services while the remaining seven will be focused on long-haul flights. The second A330 aircraft which is scheduled for delivery in September 2013 will be the aircraft that is deployed on the new Manila-Dubai route.

Following Dubai, there is possibility that services will be launched to Abu Dhabi and Kuwait in 2014. Cebu Pacific has also expressed interest in serving Hawaii if the Philippines can be upgraded to Category 1 status by the FAA. But early indications suggest that Australia will be the next long haul destination to be announced. Management has already indicated that they want to land in Australia within the year. Cebu Pacific was just granted the rights to 3,052 weekly seat entitlements between Australia and the Philippines in a Memorandum of Agreement signed between the two respective governments. This is in addition to the 1,260 weekly seat entitlements already held by Cebu Pacific. Although no formal announcements have been made, speculation suggests that Cebu Pacific will be targeting Avalon Airport as its first Australian destination. Avalon Airport serves the city of Melbourne in Australia.

Cebu Pacific previously applied to the Philippine Civil Aeronautics Board for approval to fly from Manila to Sydney and Melbourne with service beginning February 2014. The airline requested to fly weekly from Manila to Sydney on Monday, Wednesday and Friday with the return service to Manila on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. The new amendments to the existing air services agreement between Australia and the Philippines should pave the way for this proposed schedule to become a reality. Cebu Pacific requested that flights from Manila to Melbourne be scheduled weekly on Tuesdays and Saturdays with the return flights to Manila every Wednesday and Sunday.

The airline also applied for permission to fly to Moscow in 2014 suggesting that Russia could be the first European destination for Cebu Pacific. Regardless of what the future holds, the introduction of the Airbus A330-300 into the Cebu Pacific fleet represents a new era for the airline and Philippine air travel.

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