Cebu Pacific moves to block AirAsia bid for more Clark-HK flights
MANILA, Philippines - Gokongwei-led Cebu Pacific, the Philippines’ largest low-cost carrier, is opposing AirAsia Philippines Inc.'s request for additional flights between the Clark International Airport and Hong Kong.
AirAsia asked the Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) for additional 1,260 weekly seats entitlement in the Clark-Hong Kong route that, if approved, will allow the airline to operate twice daily flights starting the summer months.
Cebu Pacific filed a petition opposing the request, saying unused seats in the route should be re-allocated instead.
“There are allocated or awarded but unutilized entitlements for Clark-Hong Kong that should just be re-allocated,” Candice Iyog, vice president for marketing and distribution of Cebu Pacific, said in a text message.
“We would rather negotiate and push for regular air talks with Hong Kong in order to get additional entitlements,” Iyog added.
Alfredo Herrera, AirAsia commercial operations head, said the carrier needs additional entitlements to Hong Kong to serve growing demand. According to the airline, more than 30% of overseas Filipino workers in Hong Kong come from Central and Northern Luzon.
AirAsia, which is majority owned by AirAsia Berhad of Malaysia, recently dropped its Macau and Kota Kinabalu flights from Clark. It continues to service Davao, Kalibao, Taipei and Singapore.
Cebu Pacific currently flies to 21 international destinations as well as 32 domestic destinations through its 6 hubs including Manila, Cebu, Clark, Kalibo, Iloilo, and Davao. It is the first local airline to mount direct daily flights between Manila and Dubai starting Oct. 7, and is also looking at other countries in the Middle East such as the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, among others as future destinations. - with reports from Aya Lowe/Rappler.com