Cebu Pacific to ride PH tourism boom
MANILA -Cebu Pacific, the budget airline of the billionaire Gokongwei family, is banking on sustained growth in the postpandemic era due to rising demand for air travel and the country’s “massive” tourism potential.
“The Philippines has a moment here with this young middle class, increasing the wealth of the nation but also wanting to travel,” said Cebu Pacific CEO Michael Szucs.
“We are strategically placed within the Asean (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) region to be a hub, allowing more connectivity between all the people in this region,” he added.
Szucs was one of the speakers during the inaugural Philippine Aviation Summit last week. The event, whose theme was “Philippine Aviation: Ready for Takeoff”, tackled the various challenge and solutions to help the sector grow.
During his talk, Szucs also noted that the country’s growth story was “impressive and consistent, and the tourism potential here is massive”.
“This is the moment; this is the opportunity to get back. Now is our time to get back to that pedestal, to that very top,” the airline executive said.
Cebu Pacific is one of the country’s top airlines with 35 domestic and 24 international destinations spread across Asia, Australia, and the Middle East.
While airlines play a key role as transport providers and enablers of economic growth, Cebu Pacific chief strategy officer Alex Reyes said they recognized their role in balancing business gains with sustainability in an industry that is among the biggest contributors to global carbon emissions.
“There needs to be a coordinated effort throughout the complicated supply chain of aviation to achieve these investments, to get all these massive amounts of SAF [sustainable aviation fuel] refineries,” Reyes said.
“We are also encouraging our government partners to put in the proper incentives so that more capital flows into this vital industry. If everyone can put SAF on top of their agenda, it all brings us to a much better place for the entire aviation sector,” he added during the event.
Cebu Pacific vice president for customer service operations Lei Apostol also underscored the airline’s commitment to passengers to provide heightened recovery and ensure safe, reliable, and affordable air travel.
“No success was ever had without putting the customers at the center of the main mission. Our ability to provide the needs of our passengers when looking to maximize the potential growth will be crucial in supporting the industry’s growth,” Apostol said.