MANILA, Philippines – Gokongwei-led budget carrier Cebu Pacific announced it will be launching a direct Manila to Melbourne flight starting on August 14 this year.
Cebu Pacific said it will fly thrice weekly between Manila and Melbourne – Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays – with the following schedule:
- Manila-Melbourne (5J 049) – 6:05 am ETD, 3:50 pm ETA
- Melbourne-Manila (5J 050) – 5:05 pm ETD, 11:15 pm ETA
“The launch of our service between Melbourne and Manila will give travelers from Australia seamless connections to other destinations in the Philippines at year-round low fares,” said Candice Iyog, vice president for marketing and distribution of Cebu Pacific, in a statement on Tuesday, February 27.
“This will enable Filipinos living in the Melbourne area to visit their families more often, and encourage more Australian tourists to spend their holidays in the Philippines,” she added.
Aside from boosting tourism, Iyog said Cebu Pacific also hopes to strengthen trade between the Philippines and Australia “through more cargo capacity on direct flights that are more affordable.”
“This will benefit importers and exporters, as well as retailers bringing products in both countries,” she added.
This is Cebu Pacific’s second destination in Australia following the launch of its direct Manila to Sydney route in 2014. The airline started offering daily flights for that route last year.
Cebu Pacific noted that “since its entry, tourist arrivals from the Philippines has become one of the fastest-growing source markets for Australia, with an average 16% increase over the past 4 years.”
It also pointed out that since 2014, the figure has steadily climbed to over 120,000, while prior to that tourist arrivals from the Philippines stood at about 70,000.
Cebu Pacific also said it will kick off the new Manila to Melbourne route with a seat sale from February 27 until March 3.
The special promo fare for the Melbourne launch is P2,199, valid for travel from August 14 to October 31.
After the seat sale, year-round fares between Manila and Melbourne will start at P9,539. Cebu Pacific said this is about 50% to 60% lower than prevailing fares of other airlines, adding that it is the only low-cost carrier flying directly between the Philippines and Australia.
The new route brings Cebu Pacific’s network to 106 routes on 37 domestic and 26 international destinations.
The airline is also expecting delivery of the first of its brand new Airbus A321ceo aircraft in the next few weeks. Between 2018 and 2022, Cebu Pacific expects delivery of 6 additional Airbus A321ceos, 32 Airbus A321neos, and 8 ATR 72-600s. – Rappler.com