Cebu Pacific Planning New Hubs

With increasing demand for air travel in the Philippines, Cebu Pacific, the country's largest low cost airline, is planning to increase its number of hubs in the country.

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Copyright Photo: Angelo Agcamaran/PPSG
According to Lance Gokongwei, President of Cebu Pacific, the airline is preparing to establish more hubs in the Philippines at it takes delivery of up to forty-nine new Airbus aircraft over the next nine years.

"I think we will consider other places in the coming years as more aircraft come into the Philippines," said Gokongwei. Cebu Pacific currently offers the most extensive domestic network in the Philippines from its hubs in Manila, Cebu, Clark, Iloilo, Kalibo, and Davao. Earlier this year, Gokongwei hinted that the airline may be interested in pursuing international flights from Bacolod in 2014.

The airline's entire network currently represents more than 2,200 weekly flights to 34 domestic and 22 international destinations. The airline just launched its newest route between Manila and Phuket in August and will inaugurate the airline's first long-haul flight to Dubai on October 7.

Cebu Pacific indicated that passenger volume from its hub in Iloilo jumped 33 percent in the first eight months of the year while volume in Cebu increased by 15 percent demonstrating that there is a healthy market of demand for direct routes to domestic and international destinations outside of Manila. Cebu Pacific transformed operations at Iloilo Airport when it doubled its routes from the airport launching direct service to new destinations including Tacloban, Puerto Princesa, General Santos, as well as the international destinations of Hong Kong and Singapore, the first international flights to be offered from the airport.

Cebu has also benefited from an increase in service with Cebu Pacific launching new direct flights from the airport to Camiguin, Masbate, Coron, and Bangkok. Cebu Pacific has also maintained its direct flight from Cebu to Legazpi while PAL Express dropped the route earlier this year. The number of domestic flights offered from Cebu by Cebu Pacific now totals 25 while 5 flights are offered internationally.

According to Candice Iyog, Vice President of Marketing, Cebu Pacific intends to continue playing a vital role in the development of trade and tourism in the destinations the airline flies to. "We hope that our direct air linkages empower everyone to travel in the fastest way possible, and discover tourism and trade opportunities all over the Philippines," said Iyog. "Cebu Pacific will always explore how else it can assist in the country's tourism agenda, with the delivery of more brand-new aircraft until 2021."

Representatives of Cebu Pacific will be travelling to the European Union in November to make a presentation to authorities that the airline hopes will exempt it from the ban on Philippine carriers flying to Europe. In July, it was announced that Philippine Airlines had been granted exemption permitting the airline to launch direct flights to London beginning in November. Cebu Pacific has indicated that it intends to serve destinations in Europe, Australia, and the United States including Hawaii and Guam.

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