Cebu Pacific pushes back A330neo deliveries to 2022 – Cebu Pacific’s order book is still full of new aircraft that are scheduled to be handed within the next few years in a bid to modernize the airline’s fleet. However, due to the unprecedented effect of the COVID-19 pandemic, the airline is now inclined to reevaluate its long-term fleet plan.

Photo from John Walton, Twitter @thatjohn

During the 2020 Annual Stockholders Meeting, Cebu Pacific Chief Executive Officer Lance Gokongwei said: "We're undertaking an overall review of our long-term fleet plan. Notwithstanding, this is already a very conservative growth plan compared to our LCCs.”

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Cebu Pacific has begun discussions with suppliers to "establish flexibility and adapt to current events." One of the business strategies of low-cost carriers is to keep the fleet young. This is still probably the reason why Cebu Pacific has not cancelled an order, albeit delaying them.

As a result, delivery schedules are now deferred and adjusted for more streamlined and efficient operations. The airline was set to receive its first A330-900neo in 2021, but the delivery schedule changed to 2022, according to Flightglobal.

The low-cost airline will receive its A330neos from 2022 to 2026: two by 2022, four per year from 2023 until 2025, and two by 2026. Deliveries of the A321neos and A320neos are also adjusted with a gradually increasing acceptance rate from 2020 onward.

From 2020 up until 2026, the low-cost airline has booked 61 deliveries to replace at least 43 aircraft in the future. Cebu Pacific expects to receive three ATRs until 2022, 37 Airbus A321neo (including the XLR) until 2026, five Airbus A320neo starting 2024, and 16 Airbus A330neo starting 2022.

Given the unpredictable circumstances this time, the airline may as well revise these decisions. The recovery of the Philippines' leading budget carrier will play a big factor on how Cebu Pacific will restructure its current fleet.

The COVID-19 pandemic may have also sped up the scheduled exit of older Airbus A320-214 aircraft in favor of the Airbus neos.