Low-cost carrier Cebu Pacific is slated to fly to Honolulu in 2015 according to the Department of Foreign Affairs. Although a launch date has not officially been set, the Gokongwei-owned carrier hopes to launch the US route by the middle of next year.
|Image by: Angelo Agcamaran/PPSG|
Sales officials for Cebu Pacific were in Hawaii's largest city from November 16 to 20 in order to meet with the Philippine consul, Gina Jamoralin, travel agencies, the local Filipino community, business groups, and airport officials in an effort to survey the market. Officials from Cebu Pacific said that Jamoralin "expressed appreciation Cebu Pacific’s announcement, which will open up more opportunities for business and tourism travels for the Filipino and American people."
|Image by slowking4/Wikimedia|
If the launch pushes through, Honolulu could become Cebu Pacific's first destinations in the United States. The carrier has also recently expressed interest in starting passenger flights to Guam. Since last year, Cebu Pacific has been launching flights outside the East Asia region flying to cities such as Dubai. It also recently began flights to Sydney, Kuwait, Riyadh, and Dammam.
The announcement comes amidst expansion of Philippine carriers into the United States market, following the reinstatement of its Category 1 rating by the US Federal Aviation Administration. Without the Category 1 rating, local carriers are not able to expand their operations in the US or substitute newer aircraft on existing US routes. Philippine Airlines has been taking full advantage of the recent upgrade by deploying its Boeing 777-300ER aircraft to its San Francisco and Los Angeles. PAL also announced a gradual increase in its Honolulu flights to daily service, which is expected to commence in December.