Wednesday, 9 June 2010

Cebu Pacific flies 2.5M passengers in 1st quarter

Written by Lenie Lectura
Business Mirror

CEBU Pacific carried more domestic and international passengers than rival Philippine Airlines (PAL) in the first quarter of the year, the Gokongwei-owned airline said on Tuesday.

Based on Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) data, the airline flew 2,448,990 domestic and international passengers from January to March this year, almost 110,000 more than PAL’s system wide figures of 2,339,788.

Cebu Pacific claimed the No. 1 domestic carrier last year when it captured 50 percent of the domestic market share. It remains the No. 1 carrier in 2010, with 51-percent market share. It started operations in 1996.

“Our consistent focus and commitment to offering the lowest fares for value service continue to pay off. We expect to grow even more in the coming years as we take delivery of more brand-new planes which we will use to expand our capacity, increase frequencies, and fly to more local and foreign destinations,” said vice president for marketing and distribution Candice Iyog.

Pacific is buying 22 more 180-seat Airbus A320 aircraft for delivery starting in October this year till 2014 which, by then, would make the airline’s Airbus fleet the largest in the country as well.

The airline currently operates the youngest aircraft fleet in the country, composed of 21 Airbus and 8 ATR 72-500 aircraft.

Last year, Cebu Pacific flew 8.8 million domestic and international passengers, with a 31-percent year-on-year growth. This year, it expects the number to rise to 10 million. By 2013, it expects to carry a total of 15 million passengers, exceeding the capacity of the Naia Terminal 3, its home base.

From the last quarter of 2010 onwards, Cebu Pacific expects to strengthen its network of 33 domestic and 15 international destinations with more routes and increased frequencies. It just recently announced its newest Brunei route, slated to start this August 21.

“We have driven down the cost of flying to allow more people to fly. In every new destination we fly to, we always offer the lowest fares, forcing other airlines to match our travel product. With every new route, we promote travel, trade and tourism at the same time,” she added.

The third-largest low-cost carrier in Asia, Cebu Pacific flies to the most number of destinations and routes in the Philippines, to the most Asean destinations and routes from the Philippines, and is the only low-cost carrier flying to all three major North Asian countries of Japan, China and South Korea.

Meanwhile, PAL announced separately that will offer a one-day-only seat sale to selected destinations to celebrate Independence day. PAL said the selected destinations included are linked historically to some of the national and modern-day heroes.

For June 9, the featured destination is Saigon. The $152 roundtrip, economy fare to Saigon is available only on June 9 at all PAL ticket offices, PAL website and accredited travel agents. The all-in fare is inclusive of surcharges but excludes government taxes and ticketing service fee.

Travel period is from June 15 to September 30.

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