November 4, 2019 / 1:56 AM / 14 days ago

UPDATE 1-Philippines' Cebu Air signs deal for $4.8 bln Airbus aircraft

* Cebu Air finalises order for 16 Airbus jets

* Expected to cut cost per seat, fuel emission

* A330neos to be delivered between 2021 and 2024 (Adds details, company comments, background)

Nov 4 (Reuters) - Philippines’ Cebu Air Inc has finalised the purchase of 16 long-range Airbus A330 neo jets worth $4.8 billion at list prices, the airline said on Monday.

The budget carrier, which operates 74 aircraft, mostly Airbus A320s, under the brand Cebu Pacific, is turning to larger and fuel-efficient jets for expansion, despite limited slots at the main gateway in the Philippine capital.

Scheduled to be delivered between 2021 and 2024, the 16 A330neo aircraft will be deployed on routes in the Philippines, Asia, Australia and the Middle East, Cebu Air said in a statement.

Reuters first reported that Cebu Air was close to buying A330neo or Boeing 787 aircraft in May.

In June, Cebu Air signed a signed a memorandum of understanding to acquire 16 A330neos, 10 A321XLRs and five A320neos, worth about $6 billion in total at list prices, during the Paris Air Show.

The new Airbus aircraft will cut fuel emissions and costs per seat, said Cebu Air Chief Executive Lance Gokongwei, adding that it would also help maximise seating capacity and the airline’s valuable slots in Manila and other major Asian cities. (Reporting by Neil Jerome Morales; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)

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