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Philippine budget airline eyes more flights to Thailand, Taiwan

Publication Date : 04-08-2014


Cebu Pacific Air, the Philippines' biggest budget carrier, is seeking additional seat entitlements to Thailand and Taiwan as part of broader plans to ramp up its presence in the region, filings in the Civil Aeronautics Board showed last week.

Cebu Pacific, a unit of Gokongwei-led JG Summit Holdings Inc., one of the country's biggest conglomerates, told the CAB that it was seeking an additional 1,108 entitlements to Bangkok, Thailand. The filing was a request to reallocate existing entitlements previously awarded but currently unused by flag carrier Philippine Airlines.

Cebu Pacific, currently the country’s largest budget airline, said in another filing that it was seeking the re-allocation of 1,237 seats for the Manila to Taipei route. As with the Bangkok seats, Cebu Pacific said these were currently not being used by Philippine Airlines.

The CAB, which is seeking to hold air talks with Taiwan to increase weekly flights in the second half of 2014, said it would hold a hearing on both requests on Aug. 13.

The move comes as Cebu Pacific reported an increase in passenger volume in the first half of 2014. Cebu Pacific flew 8 million passengers from January to June, or an increase of 8 per cent over the same period in 2013, a statement showed.

For June alone, Cebu Pacific carried 1.3 million passengers, an increase of 9.5 per cent over 1.2 million passengers flown in June last year. Cebu Pacific flights were about 85 per cent full during this period, it said.

“The airline achieved notable [first half] 2014 passenger growth in several international tourism and trade markets, such as Japan, Indonesia and Taiwan contributing to foreign tourist arrivals in the country,” Cebu Pacific said.


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