Passengers flock to Cebu Pacific’s Middle East, Australia flights
CEBU Pacific Air, the country’s biggest budget carrier, said its long-haul strategy had paid off as its routes to the Middle East and Australia were among those that booked the fastest growth in the nine months of 2015.
Based on data from Australia’s Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics, Cebu Pacific said in a statement it has captured 38 percent of the market share in the Manila-Sydney route since it launched operations in Australia in September 2014.
Cebu Pacific said overall traffic between Manila and Sydney grew by 67 percent since its launch.
The Middle East growth, on the other hand, picked up after the Gokongwei-led airline launched its Kuwait, Riyadh and Doha routes in recent months. Cebu Pacific did not provide specific figures.
Cebu Pacific also said it has cornered a big chunk of the Japan market.
New international flights coupled with lower oil prices bolstered owner Cebu Air Inc.’s passenger volume and bottom line in the third quarter of 2015, latest data showed.
Cebu Air said net income in the January to September period hit P3.56 billion, up 71 percent as revenues rose 9.9 percent to P42.26 billion. Most of these came from passenger revenues, up 8.1 percent to P32.13 billion in the same period.
Chief Executive Lance Gokongwei said new destinations would allow Cebu Pacific to corner about 18 million passengers in 2015, up about 6.5 percent compared to last year.
The company has also been expanding its domestic business. The airline, which corners more than half of all domestic flights together with sister-firm Cebgo, said it increased its capacity between Manila and Tagbilaran.
It also added flights between Cebu and Tandag. The airline launched flights to this Surigao del Sur city in June 2014.
“Passengers for both routes grew by over 100 percent from January to September 2015, compared to the same period last year, making them the fastest growing domestic routes,” the carrier said.
Cebu Pacific vice president for marketing and distribution Candice Iyog said the carrier was studying destinations “where we can grow traffic.”
“As we take delivery of more aircraft in 2016, including brand-new ATR 72-600s for Cebgo, we look forward to serving more guests, and creating more tourism and business opportunities to benefit the destinations we fly to,” she said in the statement.
Cebu Pacific’s 55-plane fleet is comprised of eight Airbus A319, 33 Airbus A320, six Airbus A330 and eight ATR-72 500.
Between 2016 and 2021, Cebu Pacific will be adding to its fleet five more brand-new Airbus A320, 30 Airbus A321neo, and 16 ATR 72-600 aircraft.
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