July 27, 2018 / 7:19 AM / in 5 months

Philippines' Cebu Air to add 5 A320neo jets amid expansion drive

MANILA, July 27 (Reuters) - Philippine low-cost carrier Cebu Air Inc said on Friday it is adding 5 Airbus SE A320neo jets to its fleet as it continues to expand domestic and international services.

Asian airlines, particularly budget carriers, are among the major drivers for global demand for jets.

Malaysia's AirAsia Group Bhd and Vietnam's Vietjet Aviation JSC were among the airlines that signed large deals with manufacturers at Britain's Farnborough Airshow earlier this month.

Cebu Air, which operates Cebu Pacific, said it will acquire the 5 A320neos through a lease agreement with Avolon Aerospace Leasing Ltd, one of the world's largest aircraft lessors. Avolon is owned by Chinese conglomerate HNA Group.

Deliveries of the jets are set for 2019, Cebu Air told the local stock exchange.

"We see expansion opportunities in new markets, as well as pent-up demand in areas where we currently operate," said Alexander Lao, vice-president for Commercial Planning of Cebu Pacific.

Apart from the five leased A320neos, Cebu Pacific expects to receive two A321ceos, 32 Airbus A321neos, and six ATR 72s between 2018 and 2022. To date, the airline has 67 aircraft, mostly A320s. (Reporting by Neil Jerome Morales; Editing by Jamie Freed and Vyas Mohan)

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