Cebu Pacific to fly to Doha in 2014
MANILA, Philippines - Budget carrier Cebu Pacific announced on Wednesday, May 29, it is set to fly to Doha, Qatar in February 2014 as part of the airline's efforts to service Filipinos living and working overseas.
The Gokongwei-led carrier is seeking the go signal of the Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) to fly between Manila and Qatar using Airbus A330 thrice a week in early 2014.
Doha flights will be every Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays once CAB approves Cebu Pacific's request to reallocate some of the airlines' entitlements to Doha.
In January, the budget carrier announced the launch of its first long haul operations in Dubai slated to start in October 2013. A major bulk of Filipinos living and working overseas are based in the Middle East.
It will be using around 8 of its Airbus A330-300 aircrafts with over 400 all-economy class seats for the Manila-Dubai flights.
The Airbus A330-300 aircraft has an 11-hour range, allowing Cebu Pacific to serve markets in Australia, Middle East, parts of Europe and the US.
The Gokongwei-led carrier is beefing up its fleet to 55 aircrafts by end-2015 in preparation for the increased flight frequency and new city pairs and destinations.
The carrier is scheduled to take delivery of two A330-300 aircrafts this year and two more in 2014. It also has existing orders for 7 Airbus A320 aircraft to be delivered between 2015 and 2016 and 30 Airbus A321neo (New Engine Option) aircrafts with options for another 10 aircrafts to be delivered between 2017 and 2021.
Currently, Cebu Pacific has a fleet of 43 aircrafts consisting of 10 Airbus A319, 25 Airbus A320 and 8 ATR 72-500 aircrafts.
The budget airline has an extensive route network with 34 domestic and 22 international destinations in over 90 routes from 6 airport hubs including:
- Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 3
- Mactan-Cebu International Airport
- Diosdado Macapagal International Airport (DMIA) in Clark
- Davao International Airport
- Iloilo International Airport
- Kalibo International Airport in Aklan
In the first quarter of 2013, Cebu Pacific already flew 3.25 million passengers -- 2.52 million domestic and 733,127 international passengers -- mainly due to the increase in the airlines' number of flights and destinations.
PAL also beefing up
Legacy carrier and Cebu Pacific's main competitor is also on track in beefing up its fleet.
Airline and tobacco magnate Lucio Tan and diversified conglomerate San Miguel Corp. said they are in the midst of acquiring 100 new aircrafts in the coming years.
In the first quarter of 2013, PAL flew 2.83 million passengers.
It has a fleet of 45 aircrafts consisting of 5 Boeing B747-400s, 5 Boeing B777-300ERs, 4 Airbus A340-300s, 8 A330-300s, 19 A320-200s and 4 A319-100s. - Rappler.com