To meet the robust demand in the Philippines, Indonesia and India, budget carrier AirAsia is ordering 14 more Airbus 320CEO as announced in the Paris Air Show last Thursday (22 June).
The deal is valued at around $1.4 billion at current list prices, although airlines usually get discounts from manufacturers. The 14 additional A320ceos will bring the total number of aircraft from the A320 family ordered by AirAsia to 592. AirAsia continues to be the largest airline customer for the Airbus single aisle product line.
Philippines AirAsia chief executive officer Dexter M. Comendador said in an interview that the carrier is looking to end 2017 with 19 planes, as it plans to boost capacity and expand routes. At present, Philippines AirAsia has 16 planes.
Airbus Press Release. The A350-1000 completed successfully its first and unique “Early Long Flight” with 310 passengers on board, including 10 Airbus Flight Test crew members and 13 Virgin Atlantic cabin crew. Test aircraft MSN065 took off from and landed in Toulouse on May 11th after a 12 hours flight.
During the long-haul flight the passengers, comprising Airbus employees and cabin crew personnel from Virgin Atlantic Airways – one of the 12 A350-1000 customers – were first to experience the Xtra wide comfort of the A350-1000. The early passengers were invited to try out and test the cabin systems, including air conditioning, lighting, acoustics, in-flight entertainment (IFE), galleys, electrics, washrooms and water waste systems.
Though not part of the technical certification programme, the Early Long Flight allows Airbus to assess cabin environment and systems in-flight and optimise cabin procedures to ensure full maturity at Entry Into Service for its customers.
The intensive A350-1000 certification testing is progressing well and on track to reach Type Certification followed by Entry Into Service in second half of 2017.
The A350-1000 is the latest member of the Airbus leading widebody family, showing high level of commonality with the A350-900 with 95% common systems part numbers and Same Type Rating. As well as having a longer fuselage to accommodate 40 more passengers than the A350-900, the A350-1000 also features a modified wing trailing-edge, new six-wheel main landing gears and more powerful Rolls-Royce Trent XWB-97 engines. The A350-1000 embodies all of the fuel efficiency and ‘Airspace’ cabin comfort of the original A350-900 – but with extra size perfectly tailored for our customers on some of their busiest long-haul routes. To date 12 customers from five continents have placed orders for a total of 211 A350-1000s.
The Center for Asia Pacific Aviation (CAPA), one of the world’s leading aviation think-tanks, said in a recent report that Cebu Pacific (5J) is expected to expand operations in China with the expected delivery of its brand new A321NEO that will allow the low cost carrier to open new routes and grow capacity.
“Cebu Pacific is particularly keen to use the A321neo to open new routes deeper into China,” CAPA said in its report, noting that the aircrafts will also support plans for its North Asia expansion. Currently 5J has 17 weekly flights to four destinations in China.
“However, it is keen to add new flights to China, both scheduled and charters, in line with expected further rapid growth in the China-Philippines market,” it added.
Based on CAPA analysis, visitor numbers from China grew by approximately 20% in 2016, as China overtook Japan to become the country’s third largest source market for the Philippines. Aside from China, Cebu Pacific is also considering opening a branch office in Japan to help support future capacity growth in both markets.
“Cebu Pacific has expanded in Japan in recent years, adding three destinations for a total of four, and will likely use the A321neo to add capacity and new destinations,” it said in its report.
CAPA said Japan is now Cebu Pacific’s third largest international market after Hong Kong and Singapore, while South Korea is its fourth largest international market.
Cebu Pacific ended 2016 with a fleet of 57 aircraft — up only two from the beginning of the year. Cebu Pacific’s fleet was flat at 47 aircraft, while its turboprop subsidiary Cebgo expanded its fleet from eight to 10 aircraft.
Philippine Airlines is set to accept the deliveries of two Boeing 777-300ER this December, 2017. The acquisition of the airlines’ two B777 is based on a long term agreement with Intrepid Aviation.
These planes are capable of flying longhaul and will have 370 seats in two classes, 42 BCL seats and 328 ECY.
“The Boeing aircraft will serve the Manila-London route, a move designed to primarily enhance the total passenger travel experience and inflight service delivery. While we already have eight B777 serving the West Coast, the incoming units will also augment other trans-Pacific flights,” according to PAL President and Chief Operating Officer Jaime J. Bautista.
On top of the two B777-300ER, PAL is expected to receive Bombardier Q400 turboprops for domestic operations and two Airbus 320NEO.
NAIA Terminals 1 and 2 will soon be connected by an elevated walkway. Philippine Airlines will shoulder the 250 million peso cost of building the 400 meter walkway. Lucio Tan had already agreed to underwrite the project but the proposal still needs the regulatory approval of Manila International Airport Authority.
Asia’s largest LCC, AirAsia, plans to create an ASEAN airline that will house Malaysia’s AirAsia Bhd, Thai AirAsia and the soon-to-be-listed Indonesia AirAsia and Philippines AirAsia. According to AirAsia’s chief executive officer Tan Sri Tony Fernandes, AirAsia’s affiliates in Indonesia and Philippines already appointed bankers in their respective countries to work on the planned initial public offering (IPO).
AirAsia Group will form the holding company once the Indonesian and Philippines affiliates joined AirAsia Bhd and Thai AirAsia in the listing club.
Starting December, PAL will increase flight frequencies to:
MNL – LAX twice daily
MNL – SFO from 11 to 14 flights a week
YVR – JFK from 4 to 5 flights a week
This is made possible due to the arrival PAL’s 7th Boeing 777-300ER aircraft this month. By December, another Boeing 777-300ER is expected to join the fleet. The B777-300ER has a seating capacity of 376 seats.
CEB-LAX route, on the other hand, will still be flown by the 254 seat-Airbus 340 aircraft. The A340 will also be used as standby aircraft to fly to Australia and Honolulu.