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Thursday, December 27, 2007

Cebu Converts ATR Options

Philippines-based Cebu Pacific purchased four ATR 72-500s, converting half of its eight optioned aircraft in a deal signed earlier this year. The deal, which includes new options, brings to 10 the total firm orders of ATR 72-500s. Cebu Pacific will take delivery of the 10 aircraft during 2008 and 2009. All the aircraft will be configured with 72 seats.
Lance Gokongwei, president and CEO of Cebu Pacific, said the additional aircraft will allow the airline to serve more cities where runways are too short for its Airbus fleet. “The Philippines has 75 airports, of which only about 25 can accommodate our fleet of Airbus aircraft," he said. “Areas with smaller airports, like Caticlan, will likely experience a business boom as the 72-seat ATRs bring in more tourists and businessmen. Our expanding service will unlock the beauty and natural wealth of our archipelago. We have hubs in Manila, Cebu and Davao and, hopefully, Clark. All of these can be staging points for travel to what, up to now, are largely inaccessible destinations.”
Since the beginning of the year, ATR has received orders for 92 new aircraft, some of them not yet unveiled. Since the beginning of the program, ATR has sold 929 aircraft (416 ATR 42s and 513 ATR 72s) and has delivered 749 (396 ATR 42s and 353 ATR 72s), thus posting a current backlog of 180 aircraft.
Now in its 12th year, Cebu Pacific is the leading domestic carrier in the Philippines and operates the most domestic destinations, flights and routes and has the youngest fleet in the Philippines. The airline operates 15 new Airbus aircraft to its 12 international and 21 domestic destinations.
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