Philippines' Cebu Air signs lease deals with CIT unit

MANILA Wed Feb 22, 2012 1:21am EST

MANILA Feb 22 (Reuters) - The Philippines' largest budget carrier, Cebu Air Inc, said on Wednesday it had signed operating lease deals on four new Airbus A330-300s with CIT Aerospace, a unit of CIT Group Inc, as it seeks to serve new markets outside Asia.

CIT Group is a New York-based lender to small- and mid-sized businesses.

The four Airbus jets will be delivered between 2013 and 2014, and will be powered by Rolls-Royce Trent 772B engines, the airline said in a statement.

Cebu Pacific did not disclose financial details of the deals with CIT Aerospace.

Cebu Pacific, which has a fleet of Airbus A320s serving Asian destinations, will launch long-haul flights in the third quarter this year using wide-body aircraft. It plans to offer non-stop services into Australia, India, the Middle East and parts of Europe and the United States.

"The Airbus A330-300 aircrat will allow us to offer our trademark low fares to an even wider market," said Alex Reyes, Cebu Pacific general manager for the long-haul division, in a statement.

The airline said last month it would lease up to eight Airbus A330-300s.

It announced last June its orders for 30 new A321neos and seven A320s from Airbus, a unit of France's EADS, with delivery between 2015 and 2021 as it sought to double its fleet and expand routes.