Cebu Pacific passenger load rose 8%

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Cebu Pacific Air, the country’s biggest budget carrier, flew more passengers in the first six months of the year as it continued to offer seat promos and added new routes in the country and abroad.

In a statement Monday, the Gokongwei-led carrier said the number of passengers it carried during the period hit 7.5 million, up 8 percent year-on-year.

The figures implied that June’s passenger count hit 1.22 million, up by a fifth from the same period last year despite a landing accident early last month in Davao’s main airport.

Meanwhile, passengers for international routes during the six-month period grew 9 percent while domestic flights increased 7.5 percent. The company recorded an average load factor of 85.4 percent.

The gains came as Cebu Pacific launched its route from Manila to Bali, Indonesia, Cebu to Masbate and Cebu to Camiguin, the statement showed.

The airline earlier announced it would launch flights between Manila and Phuket, Thailand, on Aug. 16 and between Manila and Dubai on Oct. 7. It will also add flights to existing services to Vietnam and China this year.

“Cebu Pacific will continue to grow its route network so passengers will have the most flight options and the lowest fares available. This is a very exciting time for Cebu Pacific and our guests as we take delivery of more brand-new aircraft and launch new routes in the coming months,” said Candice Iyog, Cebu Pacific vice president for marketing and distribution.

“The accessibility of the country’s tourist destinations and connectivity abroad has always been a factor in our network expansion,” she added.

Cebu Pacific noted that it flew 41 percent more passengers within Mindanao, while passengers to and from Kalibo, Iloilo, Bacolod and Cebu increased “significantly.”

The Gokongwei-owned airline operates 10 Airbus A319, 26 Airbus A320, an Airbus A330 and eight ATR-72 500 aircraft.

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