Friday, 3 July 2009

Cebu Pacific now mounts more flights than Philippine Airlines

Roderick T. dela Cruz
Manila Standard

CEBU Pacific yesterday claimed that it has overtaken Philippine Airlines as the largest airline in the country in the number of weekly flights, citing data from Official Airline Guide, a global flight information and data solutions company.

The Gokongwei-owned budget carrier said it now ranked 65th among the world’s airlines in having the most weekly flights based on the June 2009 Official Airline Guide data.

“This new leadership milestone was a result of the airline’s sustained focus on offering the newest planes and the lowest possible fares to its passengers,” said Candice Iyog, Cebu Pacific vice president for marketing and distribution.

Cebu Pacific had 1,665 weekly flights compared to PAL’s 1,566. PAL was ranked 72nd in the list of 100 largest airlines.

Delta Airlines topped the list with 26,898 weekly flights, followed by American Airlines with 24,893 and United Airlines with 23,996.

Among Asian airlines, China Southern Airlines had the highest ranking at 11th place with 9,440 weekly flights.

Cebu Pacific said it was now Asia’s third largest low-cost carrier as it served 32 domestic destinations and 14 cities in Asia.

Iyog said the airline was poised to further expand its reach as it took delivery of more new aircraft. It had ordered 15 new Airbus A320s for delivery from 2010 until 2013 and was considering to buy five more.

By 2013, Cebu Pacific should have 27 Airbus aircraft and 10 turbo-prop ATRs, the youngest aircraft fleet in the Philippines, she said.

“We are about 40 percent cheaper on average than the other airlines,” Iyog said.

“So with low fares, new planes, and the convenience we offer by flying from four hubs—which allowed direct flights within regions and did away with flying via Manila—we in effect are offering what the people want and need.”

Cebu Pacific uses its four hubs in Manila, Cebu, Davao and Clark to fly 1,401-times weekly within the Philippines and 264 times weekly in Asia.

“We will continue to seek ways to expand and make more people fly,” Iyog said.

“We have a great business model that has shown domestic growth despite the present global downturn. We are confident that our march to further growth will continue.”

Cebu Pacific carried 6.7-million passengers in 2008, and it expects to carry close to nine million this year.

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