Philippine budget carrier Cebu Air Inc announced on Tuesday that it has finalized a deal to acquire a minimum of 70 A321neo aircraft, with the option to purchase more, to fulfill its long-term fleet expansion requirements. Operating as Cebu Pacific, Cebu Air aims to double its fleet by 2035, capitalizing on the anticipated travel surge in Southeast Asia post-pandemic. According to a binding memorandum, Cebu Air has the flexibility to acquire additional aircraft under certain conditions, potentially increasing the A321neo order to 102 units. The agreement also includes options for 50 A320neo jets, bringing the total potential order to 152 aircraft valued at $24 billion based on list prices, although airlines usually negotiate discounts. Cebu Pacific, which currently operates a mix of Airbus and ATR aircraft, had been considering options from both Airbus and Boeing for its narrow-body fleet expansion. For the new acquisitions, Cebu Pacific selected GTF engines from RTX subsidiary Pratt & Whitney, which are currently in use and undergoing inspections for potential component flaws that have led to temporary grounding by several airlines, including Cebu. Cebu CEO Michael Szucs emphasized that the order is structured to offer Cebu Pacific the flexibility to adjust fleet growth according to market conditions, with the option to interchange between A321neo and A320neo models. The final purchase agreement is anticipated to be concluded in the third quarter of this year, with firm order deliveries commencing no later than 2029. Cebu currently operates 64 Airbus and 14 ATR aircraft, with plans to expand to 92 by the end of 2024.