MANILA, Philippines – Budget airline Cebu Air Incorporated (Cebu Pacific) of taipan John Gokongwei is eyeing more seat entitlements to Australia amid growing passenger traffic.
Alex Reyes, Cebu Pacific general manager for long-haul division, said Thursday, April 23, the low cost carrier is looking forward to expanding its services between Manila and Sydney on the back of the growing number of tourists.
Cebu Pacific increased the number of flights between Manila and Sydney to 5 times weekly, 3 months after it launched 4-times weekly, non-stop flights to Australia in September 2014.
“In the first 4 months of operations, Cebu Pacific’s low fares and direct, non-stop services significantly stimulated inbound traffic into the Philippines and Australia,” he added.
For January 2015, the budget airline carried 13,875 passengers between Manila and Sydney.
Increased passenger traffic
A 42% increase in passenger traffic between Sydney and Manila has been registered since Cebu Pacific launched direct flights to “Down Under,” Australia’s Bureau of Infrastructure Trade and Regional Economics (BITRE) reported.
Prior to the entry of Cebu Pacific, passenger traffic between Sydney and Manila was growing at a compound annual growth rate of 8% over 5 years.
Cebu Pacific is joining the air talks between the Philippines and Australia scheduled in Canberra on Tuesday, April 28 as its seat entitlements are already fully utilized.
Analysis from leading aviation think tank Centre for Aviation showed that routes between Australia and the Philippines are underserviced.
Currently, there are about 5,800 weekly one-way seats between the two countries, compared with other popular tourism destinations in Asia such as Indonesia and Thailand, with approximately 36,000 and 22,000 weekly one-way seats, respectively. – Rappler.com