Philippine LCC Cebu Pacific Air has confirmed its first Airbus A321neo is scheduled to arrive in January, to be followed by more new-generation Airbus narrowbody aircraft in 2019.

The airline previously expected its first A321neo to be delivered in November; however, “That contractual date has since passed,” an airline spokeswoman said.

In June, a senior Cebu executive said a more likely estimate had been December. However, the “current delivery schedule” for the first aircraft has been moved to January, the spokeswoman said.

Cebu has not yet made a final decision about which route the A321neos will be deployed on first, although it is considering introducing it on the route between Manila and Tokyo Narita Airport. The carrier has 32 A321neos on order.

The November delivery target had been set after delays caused by problems with the Pratt & Whitney PW1100G-JM engines. First delivery was originally slated for late 2017, but Cebu and Airbus reached an agreement to postpone delivery for a year with the aim of providing a more reliable timetable.

Assuming a November first delivery, Cebu was expecting one A321neo by the end of 2018 and another eight in 2019. However, the further delay means the airline is no longer estimating a total for 2019.  The timing of subsequent deliveries “is still fluid … and we are in discussions with Airbus,” the spokeswoman said. The carrier is still targeting capacity growth of 10%-12% for 2019.

Cebu is also scheduled to receive five A320neos in 2019, with the first expected by the second quarter.

The LCC has one more A321ceo remaining to be delivered before the end of this year, which is expected to be its final one before the neos begin arriving. With this addition, Cebu will boost its mainline fleet to 51 aircraft by the end of 2018. Its regional subsidiary Cebgo has 19 ATR 72 aircraft, with another to be delivered by the end of December.

Adrian Schofield, adrian.schofield@informa.com