Cebu Pacific to suspend Manila-Dammam route
Cebu Pacific to suspend Manila-Dammam route
Poor load factor prompts the budget carrier to stop its second Saudi Arabia route, barely 5 months since it started

MANILA, Philippines – Cebu Air Incorporated (Cebu Pacific) is set to suspend the Manila-Dammam, Saudi Arabia route by March 30 this year due to poor load factor.

“We have decided to suspend services for now, as loads on the Dammam-Manila sector are poor,” Cebu Pacific General Manager for long-haul division Alex Reyes said in a text message.

The Manila-Dammam route started October 4, 2014, In February, Cebu Pacific reduced it to twice a week flights from 3.

The low cost carrier has started calling out affected passengers, for their options to get a full refund or travel fund, Reyes said.

Cebu Pacific would redeploy the aircraft used in the Manila-Dammam route to other destinations where demand is stronger, Reyes added.

Cebu Pacific has expanded its hubs outside Manila by mounting flights to Hong Kong from Boracay via its hub in Kalibo, Aklan as well as Tokyo (Narita) via the Mactan-Cebu international airport.

The airline is also seeking additional seat entitlements from the Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) for flights to Australia and Singapore.

The Gokongwei-led airlines achieved notable passenger growth in both domestic and several international markets after launching direct non-stop flights from Manila to Kuwait, Riyadh, and Dammam. It also launched flights to Sydney in Australia Nagoya and Osaka in Japan. It also mounted additional flights to Dubai.

In the domestic market, Tigerair Philippines launched flights to Butuan, Clark, Cagayan de Oro, Davao, General Santos, Roxas, and Tagbilaran from its hubs in Manila and Cebu.

The budget airline also recently signed a forward sale agreement with NASDAQ-listed Allegiant Travel Company involving the sale of 6 Airbus A319 aircraft to Las Vegas-based low cost carrier Allegiant Air. –

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