Cebu Pacific pushes for open skies deal with Japan
Low-cost airline Cebu Pacific wants to expand aggressively into Japan and will be needing seat entitlements

MANILA, Philippines – Budget carrier Cebu Pacific is urging the government to ink an open skies agreement with Japan so local airlines can mount more flights there.

Cebu Pacific is persuading the government ahead of the RP-Japan air consultations to be held in Tokyo beginning September 11.

In a position paper submitted to the Philippine Air Consultation Panel, Cebu Pacific lauded the government’s efforts to increase the Ninoy Aquino International Airport’s capacity, but said the lack of seat entitlements in other countries will prevent players from maximizing that capacity.

Philippine carriers first need to obtain seat entitlements from countries like Japan before they can mount new flights or add frequencies.

Open skies deal

Inking an open skies agreement with Japan will help Cebu Pacific expand its Japan operations.

The budget airline currently flies the Manila-Osaka route 3 times weekly.

“An open skies agreement with Japan will benefit local tourism and trade, especially since we believe Japan can rival South Korea when it comes to foreign tourist arrivals,” said Candice Iyog, Cebu Pacific Vice President for Marketing and Distribution.

“Aside from Japan being one of the Philippines’ biggest trading partners, it is also home to 350,000 global Filipinos. Cebu Pacific’s expansion in Japan will allow us to offer our trademark lowest fares to the Philippines to boost business and leisure traffic,” Iyog explained.

Foreign tourist arrivals from Japan fell 2% from 2006 to 2011, Cebu Pacific said, attributing it to the lack of additional seat entitlements.

Among the countries with open skies agreements with Japan are Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan, South Korea, Australia, France, Sri Lanka, United Kingdom, United States, Canada and Mexico. –

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