Cebu Pacific Air (5J, Manila Ninoy Aquino International) is about to issue a Request for Proposals (RFP) for 100-150 narrowbody aircraft with Chief Executive Officer Michael Szucs telling the Inquirer daily that the entire contract will be awarded to a single manufacturer.

"May the best man win. It will be a very competitive process that we will be running," he said.

The airline expects to issue the RFP by October 20, 2023, with initial bids expected by year end. A decision will then be made in the first quarter of 2024. Cebu Pacific Air expects deliveries of the newly ordered aircraft to begin in 2027 and complete by 2035.

The fleet growth will allow the airline to nearly triple its annual capacity, Szucs expects. The low-cost carrier is optimistic about the growth of the Filipino market thanks to the improving infrastructure. Around a dozen of the newly ordered aircraft would be allocated to the future base at ICAO!CHA5 airport. President and Chief Operating Officer Alexander Lao intimated that the airline was also looking at new bases at Panglao and Kalibo airports.

Chief Financial Officer Mark Cezar said the pre-delivery payments would be financed from the current cash flow. The airline does not anticipate going to the market for fresh capital to finance the fleet expansion.

The ch-aviation fleets module shows that Cebu Pacific Air currently operates twenty-one A320-200s, fourteen A320-200Ns, seven A321-200s, twelve A321-200NX, three inactive A330-300s, and five A330-900s. Its regional subsidiary Cebgo operates five ATR72-500s, fourteen ATR72-600s, and two ATR72-500(F)s. The airline has an existing order for seven A320-200Ns, twelve A321-200NX, ten A321-200NY(XLR)s, eleven A330-900s, and two ATR72-600s from the respective manufacturers. It expects to transition the retirement of all A320ceo Family aircraft by the end of 2027. Notwithstanding this plan, the airline added two A320-200s (with one more due) on short-term dry leases in 2023 to compensate for the Pratt & Whitney PW1000G engine issues affecting its A320/1neo fleet.

While the airline has been operating exclusively Airbus jet aircraft for nearly two decades, its early fleet was based on DC-9-30s and B757-200s. All McDonnell Douglas and Boeing aircraft were retired by 2006, the ch-aviation fleets history module shows.