High-Density Madness: Cebu Pacific to Squeeze 460 Economy Seats on an Airbus A330neo

Jun 18, 2019

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

Philippine airline Cebu Pacific announced an order for 31 Airbus aircraft on Tuesday, announcing the deal at the Paris Air Show. The deal includes 16 A330-900neos, 10 A321XLRs and five A320neos; there also are options for 10 additional A321neos. But the order was highlighted by what the airline plans to do on the interior of those aircraft — specifically the wide-body A330neos.

When Cebu Pacific begins to take delivery of the A330neos in 2021, they’ll come equipped with a whopping 460 seats in an all-economy configuration. Presumably, that means a dense 3-3-3 configuration as well as very narrow seats.

By a point of comparison, TAP Air Portugal took delivery of its first A330neo in November 2018 and has just 289 seats in a three-class configuration. AirAsia X, which unveiled its first A330neo at the Paris Air Show on Monday and is also a low-cost carrier, features 365 economy and 12 business-class seats on board its aircraft in a two-cabin configuration. That’s a total of 377 seats, 83 fewer than Cebu’s configuration.

Unlike Virgin Atlantic, which ordered 14 A330neos on Monday at the Paris Air Show and plans to fly them on long-haul routes, Cebu Pacific plans to fly its new high density A330neos on shorter-haul routes.

Cebu Pacific’s route network centers around its hub in Manila. It extends as far west as Dubai and as far east as Guam. Cebu also flies to both Melbourne and Sydney in Australia. Cebu Pacific Chief Financial Officer Andrew Huang said the new A330neos will be used on the carrier’s “short-haul environment.”

Perhaps the shorter routes mean a slightly more comfortable journey for the 460 passengers that are jammed in the A330neo. That said, the likely reduced legroom, narrow seats and overall high density will make for a sardine-like experience.

The configuration of the A321XLRs that the carrier announced on Tuesday have yet to be released. The order marked the third of its kind for the just-announced A321XLR.

Meanwhile, on its A320neos, Cebu Pacific’s trend of high density configurations will continue with 194 seats on board. For comparison, most A320neo operators top out at 180 seats.

All images courtesy Airbus.

Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card

Earn 90,000 bonus miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new card in the first three months of card membership. Offer ends 11/10/2021.

With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 90,000 Bonus Miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer expires 11/10/2021.
  • Earn up to 20,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) with Status Boost® per year. After you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, you can earn 10,000 MQMs two times per year, getting you closer to Medallion® Status. MQMs are used to determine Medallion® Status and are different than miles you earn toward flights.
  • Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
  • Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.
  • Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
  • Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. *Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $75 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
  • Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
  • Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®.
  • Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • $250 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Regular APR
15.74%-24.74% Variable
Annual Fee
Balance Transfer Fee
Recommended Credit
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.