Cebu Pacific Air (5J, Manila Ninoy Aquino Int'l) is contemplating launching services to India and Russia from Manila Ninoy Aquino Int'l, as well as to Australia and secondary Chinese cities from Cebu using the A321-200neo(XLR)s it will start taking in 2024, Chief Executive Advisor Mike Szücs told CAPA TV.

"India is not right at the forefront of our mind at the minute but come 2024, I think it will be interesting for us," Szücs said, adding that Russia was a similar case.

The Philippines-India and the Philippines-Russia markets are currently unserved.

Szücs clarified that given the lack of airlines on the market, Cebu Pacific Air will most likely look at routes to India and Russia from the Filipino capital.

However, A321neo(XLR) will also operate out of the carrier's second hub at Cebu. According to the ch-aviation capacities module, the Manila-Australia market is already well-served with Cebu Pacific itself operating 4x weekly to Sydney Kingsford Smith and 3x weekly to Melbourne Tullamarine. Philippine Airlines (PR, Manila Ninoy Aquino Int'l) operates to Brisbane Int'l (5x weekly), Melbourne (5x weekly), and Sydney (6x weekly), while Qantas (QF, Sydney Kingsford Smith) flies daily from Sydney.

In contrast, there are currently no direct scheduled flights between Cebu and Australia.

Szücs also mentioned secondary and tertiary Chinese airports as an interesting market opportunity.

"China is developing a lot of airfields. These secondary and tertiary airports in China will be big places so I think those will be great for inbound tourism particularly from somewhere like Cebu," Szücs said.

He also added that Cebu Pacific can expand its international network from Davao with the new narrowbody aircraft. Currently, the carrier's only international route from the airport is to Singapore Changi.

The Filipino carrier currently has thirty A321neo on order from Airbus. During the 2019 Paris Air Show, Cebu Pacific also signed a memorandum of understanding for ten A321neo(XLRs), five A320-200neo, as well as sixteen widebody A330-900s. These orders are yet to be firmed.

According to the ch-aviation fleets advanced module, the carrier's current fleet includes thirty-two A320-200s, two A320neo, seven A321-200s, two A321neo, eight A330-300s, seven ATR72-500s, and thirteen ATR72-600s. The Avions de Transport Régional turboprops are operated by Cebgo (DG, Manila Ninoy Aquino Int'l). Cebu also operates a single ATR72-500(F).

Szücs confirmed that the carrier did not have extensive long-haul plans and would rather focus on upgauging routes currently served by A320s with the new A330-900s. The new widebodies will also replace the eight -300s.

"The upgauging is particularly focused on Manila. We do not expect to put any new aircraft on a net basis into Manila," Szücs said.

He added that the majority of the new A330s will be used on short-haul routes, although it was possible that the carrier would add some frequencies to Dubai Int'l (currently served daily from Manila) and Australia.