Friday, 23 January 2009

Cebu Pacific hikes base to 6.7M last year

Paolo Luis G. Montecillo
BusinessWorld Online

CREATING NEW routes and frequent seat sales helped budget carrier Cebu Pacific increase its passenger base by close to a fifth in 2008.

In a statement, the airline yesterday said it had flown 6.7 million domestic and international passengers last year, a 23% increase from a year earlier.

"We carried 5.38 million domestic passengers last year, up by 20.7% from 2007, while international passengers rose by 33% from one million to 1.4 million," Cebu Pacific Chief Executive Officer Lance Y. Gokongwei said.

He traced the growth to higher seat capacity coupled with their trademark low fares. "We were able to successfully convince more Filipinos to travel by air despite economic uncertainties," he added.

The growth, however, was short of the company’s target of seven million passengers. This year, Cebu Pacific expects to hike its passenger base by more than a third to 9.3 million.

The company expects to take delivery of six new aircraft this year, which it will use to expand its network. The company posted a net loss of P1.87 billion in January to September last year.

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