Cebu Pacific to expand footprint in Japan with new office

MANILA, Philippines – Cebu Pacific opened an office in Japan, as the budget airline continues to expand in Asia Pacific and boost its presence in the Japanese market.

Located in Chuo-ku, Tokyo, the airline's Japan office will serve as the hub for Cebu Pacific's activities and business transactions in Japan.

"Our very own branch office in Japan symbolizes the next stage of growth into the Japanese market which has become one of the most important across our network," Cebu Pacific chief executive adviser Mike Szcus said in a statement on Wednesday, May 16.

Cebu Pacific offers flights to 37 domestic and 26 international destinations across Asia, Australia, the Middle East, and the United States (Guam). 

With the new office, Szcus said passengers can easily connect to top tourist islands in the Philippines, or to other cities around Southeast Asia, Guam, or Australia via Manila or Cebu.

Tomohiko Matsumoto was appointed as the airline's country manager for Japan in December last year. (READ: Cebu Pacific passes IATA safety audit)

Before joining Cebu Pacific, Matsumoto served as country manager and international air cargo manager for Qatar Airways. He was also Tiger Air Taiwan's sales and marketing manager for Japan.

"There is much opportunity for trade and tourism between Japan and the Philippines. Our vision is to bridge the gap between the Japanese market and Cebu Pacific Air," Matsumoto said.

"Cebu Pacific, with year-round low-cost fares, gives Japanese travelers more options and more choices. We look forward to enticing more Japanese to visit the Philippines and fly with Cebu Pacific," he added.

Now on its 10th year of operations in Japan, Cebu Pacific mounts about 70 flights a week between Japan and the Philippines. 

Cebu Pacific flies between Manila and Narita, Osaka, Nagoya, and Fukuoka, as well as between Cebu and Narita, using its fleet of Airbus A330 and A320 aircraft.

"In 2017, we flew over 435,000 passengers between the Philippines and Japan. Compared to the number of Japanese travelers, there is much room to grow," said Alex Reyes, vice president for cargo at Cebu Pacific.

The airline's 65-strong fleet includes 4 Airbus A321ceo, 36 Airbus A320, 8 Airbus A330, 8 ATR 72-500, and 9 ATR 72-600 aircraft.

Between 2018 and 2022, Cebu Pacific expects delivery of 4 more A321ceo, 32 Airbus A321neo, and 7 ATR 72-600 aircraft.

The Gokongwei-led airline saw its net income increase by 12% to P1.437 billion in the 1st 3 months of the year, despite the rise in global oil prices and the weakening of the Philippine peso against the US dollar. –