Cebu Pacific looking to sell 17 aircraft for leaseback

Cebu Pacific is seeking for a sale-leaseback agreement for 17 of its Airbus A320-200 CEO (Current Engine Option). In a report from FlightGlobal, the budget airline originally wanted to an SLB for 14 of its aircraft but later on increased it to 17, in other words, its entire fleet of A320 CEOs.

A sale-leaseback happens when the seller sells its property or assets to the buyer then automatically rents or leases them back directly from the buyer. This works for companies who usually want to raise more capital.

However according to FlightGlobal, 13 of these jets are leased mainly from Aircastle, Arena Aviation Capital, CDB Aviation, Deucalion Aviation Funds, Merx Aviation Finance, and SMBC Aviation Capital.

Surplus of aircraft?

Cebu Pacific has a pending order of 37 Airbus NEO jets inclusive of A330-900neo, A321neo, and A320neo where the airline looks to replace all its CEOs with NEOs. Aside from being a liquidity exercise, this move is also a calculated strategic move in order to match deliveries as not to have a surplus of aircraft given the drop in air travel demand.

Having a surplus of aircraft not being utilized would be added costs for the airline, especially in a time when streamlining and optimization is the name of the game during the post-pandemic months and years toward recovery.

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