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Philippine budget carrier eyes PAL’s unused Japan slots

Publication Date : 30-06-2014


Cebu Pacific, the Philippines' No. 1 budget airline, is eyeing coveted slots to Japan’s Haneda Airport, the closest international gateway to Tokyo, which would allow the dominant budget carrier to expand its services to the wealthy North Asian economy.

Alex Reyes, Cebu Pacific general manager for the long haul division, said the airline was planning to ask the Civil Aeronautics Board for seven of the 14 weekly frequencies that were earlier awarded to Philippine Airlines, should the slots remain unused by the flag carrier.

A Philippine Airlines source confirmed that the carrier was using only half of its 14 frequencies to Haneda, noting that the adjustment in flights was “contingent on commercial requirements.”

Alexander Lao, Cebu Pacific vice president for commercial planning, said the budget carrier would still need to wait for some months before making a filing with the CAB.

“Normally it’s use it or lose it. We have to wait for six months of no use,” Lao said. “We would love to go to Haneda.”

Flights to Haneda are coveted, especially by business travelers, because it is located about 30 minute away from Tokyo by car, while it roughly takes an hour to commute when arriving from Narita International Airport, Tokyo’s premier gateway.

Cebu Pacific, which flies daily from Manila to Narita, sought half of the 14 frequencies given to Philippine carriers as early as last year.
These were eventually awarded to Philippine Airlines, which launched twice a day flights from Manila to Haneda starting March 30 before scaling back the service to once a day about a month later.


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