Cebu Pacific boosts interisland travel with new ATR turboprop aircraft

Low-cost carrier Cebu Pacific has taken delivery of its sixth aircraft this year, an ATR 72-600 turboprop, bolstering its commitment to serving interisland routes in the country.

The brand-new aircraft, with tail number RP-C7295, arrived at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Manila on June 5, joining Cebu Pacific’s existing fleet of 15 turboprops.

The Cebgo-operated RP-C7295 entered service three days later when it flew as DG-6113 from Manila to Naga.

“With more than 7,100 islands in the Philippines, our commitment to serve passengers traveling between inter-island destinations requires us to invest in turboprop aircraft.”

Cebu Pacific Chief Executive Officer Michael Szucs

“This aircraft delivery brings our turboprop fleet to 15, and we will be receiving our sixteenth ATR turboprop in October. With this, CEB (Cebu Pacific) will be operating the largest turboprop fleet in the Philippines, enabling us to serve more passengers across the country,” he added.

The ATR 72-600, manufactured by Avions de Transport Regional (ATR) in France and Italy, is designed to access short, narrow, and unpaved runways, handle steep approaches, and operate at high altitudes.

The turboprop can carry around 78 passengers and has a maximum range of 1,300 kilometers, depending on payload.

The low-cost carrier ordered 16 ATR 72-600 at the 2015 Paris Air Show, to replace the aging fleet of eight ATR 72-500 turboprops.

During the 2024 Singapore Airshow, Cebu Pacific placed an additional order of two more ATR 72-600 planes, ramping up the total orders to 18.

Cebu Pacific operates its turboprop fleet on 25 domestic routes, servicing almost 2.5 million passengers yearly.

According to the airline, some destinations, such as Camiguin, Calbayog, Siargao, Masbate, Surigao, Busuanga, and Naga, are only accessible by turboprop and smaller aircraft.

In addition to its turboprop fleet, Cebu Pacific operates a mixed commercial fleet of eight Airbus A330s, 39 Airbus A320s, and 21 Airbus A321s.

More planes are expected to be delivered and ordered in the coming months. Cebu Pacific is in the final stages of evaluating the proposals from aviation giants Airbus and Boeing for its blockbuster order for 100 to 150 narrowbody planes.

Dirk Andrei Salcedo Avatar

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