Cebu Pacific makes flying start to 2016

Philippines’ low-cost carrier, Cebu Pacific carried more than 1.6 million passengers on domestic and international flights in January 2016, a growth of nearly 13 percent over the same month in 2015. This included a record single day traffic performance on January 3, 2016 when the group carried 62,947 passengers.

The surge in passengers has been driven by improving yields with seat load factor reaching a high of 86 per cent. This was particularly evident in the airline’s growing international network but was also buoyed by strong domestic sales.

"We thank our valued guests for allowing Cebu Pacific to bring them and their loved ones closer together. We will continue to expand our network and flight frequency to meet the growing demand for air travel," said Atty JR Mantaring, Vice President for Corporate Affairs, Cebu Pacific Air.

Based on the airline’s own estimates, it gained a 58 percent share of the total Filipino domestic market in January 2016. The airline's record passenger loads also continued into the first half of February, with over 1.1 million passengers flown from February 1, 2016 to February 21, 2016—a 19 percent growth versus the same period last year.

Cebu Pacific currently offers flights to a network of over 90 routes to 64 destinations, spanning Asia, Australia, and the Middle East. It is due to launch direct flights between Manila and the US in the coming week. The budget operator will introduce a four times weekly link between Manila and Guam, a US island territory in Micronesia, in the Western Pacific, with effect from March 15, 2016.

The airline will be the only low-cost carrier flying directly between the Philippines and Guam, a market currently served on an up to daily basis by Philippine Airlines from Manila, as well as on an eleven times weekly basis by United Airlines as part of its Pacific network.

This expansion will see Cebu Pacific offering its trademark low fares to the sizeable Filipino community in Guam, which currently comprises about 26 per cent of the island's population, according to the US Central Intelligence Agency World Fact Book.

Richard Maslen

Richard Maslen has travelled across the globe to report on developments in the aviation sector as airlines and airports have continued to evolve and…