PAL, Cebu Pacific to launch new int’l flights in December

Chrisee Dela Paz
PAL, Cebu Pacific to launch new int’l flights in December
Philippine Airlines will launch Papua New Guinea flights, while Cebu Pacific Air will expand Japan operations this month

MANILA, Philippines – Philippine Airlines, Incorporated (PAL) and Cebu Pacific Air will launch new flights in the Oceania and East Asia regions before 2015 ends. 

PAL said in a statement on Wednesday, December 16, that it will operate 3 weekly flights to Papua New Guinea starting Friday, December 18, as part of its expansion in the Oceania region.

The thrice-weekly service to Port Moresby, the capital of Papua New Guinea, utilizes the 156-seater Airbus 320.

PAL executives and tourism department officials will lead the celebration of the new service during an inaugural reception on Saturday, December 19 at the Airways Hotel in Port Moresby. 

“After its successful inaugural in Cairns and Auckland, PAL continues its expansion in the Oceania Region by resuming flights in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea. It allows PAL to be of service to the travel needs of tourists and businessmen both from Manila and Papua New Guinea,” PAL President and COO Jaime Bautista said in the statement. (READ: PAL flies to New Zealand starting December 2)

PAL said its new Port Moresby service “will provide an easy route for Filipinos living and working in Papua New Guinea to their native home, while also allowing residents of Papua New Guinea to discover and connect to PAL’s 30 domestic and 39 international destinations.”

The country’s flag carrier said around 30,000 Filipino professionals are based in Papua New Guinea.

The Manila-Port Moresby PAL route starts at a rate of $720 for economy class and $2,132 for business class, while the Port Moresby-Manila route starts at PGK1,768 ($592.21) for economy class and PGK8,678 ($2,907.12) for business class.

Port Moresby will become PAL’s 39th international destination.

Papua New Guinea is the South Pacific island’s largest city. Jackson International Airport is the largest and busiest airport in Papua New Guinea.

Cebu Pac mounts more Japan flights

Meanwhile, catering to the growing demand for Manila-Japan flights, Cebu Pacific will launch its Manila-Fukuoka route on December 17. It previously expanded its Japan network with a direct Cebu-Narita (Tokyo) route that began March 2015.

“We’re pleased to see the CEB effect in these markets, and will continue to study destinations where we can grow traffic,” CEB VP for Marketing and Distribution Candice Iyog said in a separate statement.

“As we take delivery of more aircraft in 2016, including brand-new ATR 72-600s for Cebgo, we look forward to serving more guests, and creating more tourism and business opportunities to benefit the destinations we fly to,” she added.

Cebu Pacific said it had the bulk of the Australia, Middle East, and Japan markets during the first 9 months of the year.

Citing September 2014 to September 2015 data from Australia’s Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport, and Regional Economics, Cebu Pacific said it garnered a 38% market share in the Manila-Sydney route.

“Overall traffic between Manila and Sydney also grew by 67% since CEB entered the market in September 2014,” it said.

Cebu Pacific added that its Middle East growth was driven by the launch of Kuwait, Riyadh, and Dohain in recent months, as part of the airline’s expansion in the region.

The airline offers flights to a network of over 90 routes on 60 destinations, spanning Guam, Sydney, Dubai, Bali, and Seoul. It operates flights from 6 Philippine hubs: Manila, Cebu, Davao, Iloilo, Clark and Kalibo.

Cebu Pacific’s 55-strong fleet is comprised of 8 Airbus A319, 33 Airbus A320, 6 Airbus A330 and 8 ATR-72 500 aircraft. It is one of the most modern aircraft fleets in the world. Between 2016 and 2021, Cebu Pacific will take delivery of 5 more brand-new Airbus A320, 30 Airbus A321neo, and 16 ATR 72-600 aircraft. – Rappler.com

 $1=PGK2.98

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