Cebu Pacific passengers surged 335% last year | Inquirer Business

Cebu Pacific passengers surged 335% last year

/ 02:12 AM March 04, 2023

Cebu Pacific will take delivery of more aircraft this year to meet travel demand

BOOSTING CAPACITY Cebu Pacific will take delivery of more aircraft this year to meet travel demand. —CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Gokongwei-led Cebu Pacific saw passenger volume surge over 300 percent in 2022 as revenge travel helped the country’s biggest budget airline recover about 65 percent of its prepandemic load.

In a statement on Friday, Cebu Pacific said it carried over 14.8 million passengers last year, which was higher by 335 percent with a seat occupancy rate of 75 percent.


“Higher travel demand both domestically and internationally, coupled with the easing of various travel regulations, drove the steep recovery for [Cebu Pacific] in 2022,” the carrier said.


Cebu Pacific said seat load factor during this period also rose 3.6 percentage points to 78 percent.

The airline served 22.5 million passengers in 2019—a year before the COVID-19 pandemic grounded nearly all travel.

“In 2023, [Cebu Pacific] is firmly in place for full recovery and expects to restore 100 percent of its pre-COVID network and capacity in March,” the carrier said, citing its strong domestic network, seat sale sales and the resumption of more international routes.

For domestic flights alone, Cebu Pacific carried 13.5 million passengers last year, an annual increase of 312 percent.

This helped the airline widen its local market share to 57 percent compared to the prepandemic figure of 52 percent, based on data from the Civil Aeronautics Board.

The Christmas holiday peak season alone its fourth quarter passenger voluwme to 4.4 million, up 6 percent.


It cited strong volume in destinations such as Japan, South Korea and Taiwan, which eased travel restrictions late last year.

“Hong Kong, one of [Cebu Pacific’s] largest markets, also lifted its mandatory quarantine requirements in December,” Cebu Pacific added.

Meanwhile, the carrier said it would expand its Clark International Airport hub by operating a combined 13 domestic and international destinations from Clark International Airport, making it the largest airline servicing northern and central Luzon.

Cebu Pacific will also lease five aircraft in 2023 “to address capacity and growing passenger demand.” It expects the delivery of another 10 new Airbus NEO aircraft this year.

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“Three of the aircraft will be used to restart the Clark base. The two other aircraft will be used to support overall growth ambitions as [Cebu Pacific] recovers fully from the pandemic,” said Xander Lao, Cebu Pacific president and chief commercial officer.

TAGS: Cebu Pacific, market share, passenger volume, rebound, travel industry

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