Visayas, Mindanao flights drive Cebu Pacific’s passenger volume

Chrisee Dela Paz
Visayas, Mindanao flights drive Cebu Pacific’s passenger volume
Popular domestic flights such as Kalibo, Tacloban, Siargao, and Tagbilaran lead to an increase in Cebu Pacific passengers

MANILA, Philippines – The country’s largest budget carrier, Cebu Pacific Air, breached its 10-million passenger mark during the first half of the year, primarily driven by popular domestic destinations in the Visayas and Mindanao.

Its operator Cebu Air Incorporated said in a statement on Wednesday, July 27, that it flew over 10 million passengers from January to June this year, an increase of 9% over the same period in 2015.

On average, the Cebu Pacific operator said flights were 87% full during these months. 

For the month of June, the airline serviced 1.6 million passengers, up by 8% from the 1.5 million passengers flown in the same month a year ago.

The Gokongwei-led carrier said the upsurge in volume was mainly driven by popular domestic flights in the Visayas and Mindanao, such as Kalibo, Tacloban, Siargao, and Tagbilaran. (READ: Cebu Pacific marks 20th anniversary with P1-seat sale)

“We are very proud to share with you that since Cebu Pacific’s inception in 1996, our passengers now number more than 130 million and counting. These promising figures encourage us to cater to the growing travel demand not just in Manila, but throughout our 6 strategic hubs nationwide,” said JR Mantaring, Cebu Pacific vice-president for corporate affairs.

International flights

Some international destinations, like China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Singapore, also fared well during the first half of the year, Mantaring added. 

Data from the airline showed that its passengers to and from Japan spiked by 21%, following the launch of Cebu-Tokyo flights in March 2015, and Manila-Fukuoka flights in December 2015.

Its destinations in the Middle East and Australia contributed to the upturn, too, after registering a substantial increase in volume in the first 6 months of 2016, versus the same period in 2015.

“We are optimistic that with the support of relevant airport and government authorities, we can continue offering our trademark lowest fares to even more Filipino travelers in the years to come,” Mantaring said.

The Gokongwei-led carrier’s network spans Asia, Australia, the Middle East, and the United States.

Just recently, Cebu Pacific announced 3 new routes: from Cebu to Calbayog (Samar), Ormoc (Leyte), and Roxas (Capiz), bringing its total number of domestic destinations to 36.

It also currently flies to 30 international destinations, including Dubai, Incheon, Guam, Tokyo, and Sydney.

Its 57-strong fleet is comprised of 7 Airbus A319, 36 Airbus A320, 6 Airbus A330, and 8 ATR 72-500 aircraft.

Between 2016 and 2021, Cebu Pacific said it expects delivery of 32 Airbus A321neo and 16 ATR 72-600 aircraft. – Rappler.com

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