Cebu Pacific Launches Manila-Dubai Route

Cebu Pacific marked a historic occasion in the low cost carrier's history as it launched its first ever long haul flight between Manila and Dubai on October 7. Cebu Pacific is the first Philippine carrier to land in Dubai in the last 15 years.

cebu pacific dubai
"The Cabin Crew of Cebu Pacific's First Long Haul Flight"
Image Source: Cebu Pacific
Lance Gokongwei, CEO of Cebu Pacific, is hopeful that success will be as kind to the carrier as it was on its regional and domestic routes. "When we say we fly to where Filipinos are, we mean it," said Gokongwei. "This was our mindset when we launched our first international flight to Hong Kong in 2001 and this remains our mindset as we launch our 22nd international destination. We proudly carry the Philippine flag in this historic moment."

The inaugural flight from Dubai will carry 100 Global Filipinos that Cebu Pacific is flying home as part of a recent contest that awarded free flights home to Filipinos that have been away from their families for more than one year. Cebu Pacific will be operating the route with its brand new 436-seat Airbus A330-300 aircraft. The flight is scheduled to operate on a daily basis with Cebu Pacific offering passengers fares that are up to 35% lower than other carriers.

Nobody is happier about the new flights than Dubai's Filipino community who were given a huge boost in a market that has been largely controlled by Gulf carriers charging premium fares. The introductory of Cebu Pacific's new low-cost flights offers Filipinos more travel options at affordable fares in a region that is home to an estimated half a million Filipinos. The new flights will now make home a little more accessible for the thousands of overseas Filipino workers.

"Our goal has always been to combine low fares with great service," said Alex Reyes, General Manager of Cebu Pacific's Long Haul Division. "By choosing Dubai as the first long haul destination, we are now serving one of the largest Filipino expat communities in the world."

The new route is a milestone for Cebu Pacific that is trying to pioneer low cost long haul flights in a segment of the air industry where many other carriers have failed. It remains to be seen whether Cebu Pacific's low cost model will be sustainable in the long term for long haul routes. Industry observers are also anxiously awaiting feedback on the airline's tightly configured aircraft which is the most densely configured aircraft of its type in the world. Cebu Pacific intends to acquire up to eight wide-body aircraft to support its long haul expansion into the Middle East, Australia, Europe, and the United States.

cebu pacific a330
"Crews Prepare the A330 for the Inaugural Flight to Dubai"
Image Source: Cebu Pacific
"We are the Philippines' first choice for all domestic and near-haul flights because of our low fares and convenient travel options," added Reyes. "With our direct, non-stop service, flying Cebu Pacific is the fastest and most fun way to get home. In-flight, our passengers get to enjoy Filipino meals, fun games, and the unique brand of Filipino hospitality."

PAL Express will be bringing in its own brand of Filipino hospitality when it launches its inaugural flight on the Manila-Dubai route on November 7 competing directly with Cebu Pacific.


  1. what would you expect from an LCC..thus the low fares..

  2. given the opportunity, 9 hours flight.. i rather go for emirates or PAL if the flight commence

  3. aNYONE KNOWS ABOUT sia pacific airlines?

  4. the PAL to commence in DXB is a PAL Express, the low cost partner of PAL. They must change the livery to PAL Express not Philippines to avoid confusion

  5. this could be a very boring flight ever ahahahhaah....because no on seat monitor to watch your own movie

    1. Its ok as long its cheap! Ilbring tablet or laptop and preload it with my fave movies and cheap because its low cost airlines

  6. guys bring extra batteries for your mobile or gadgets, because definitely by arrival all mobile phone and gadgets are lowbat.

  7. This will be a boring long haul flight without a personal video/audio on board...

  8. Unfortunately there is not much of a choice flying domestic in the Phillipines. Specially not if you have to fly to Butuan most of the time, as i do. Any time I have the choice i prefer any other airline than Cebu Pacific. Not for flying safety or for their airplanes. Thats ok. It's for their arogant and very customer unfriendly staff. Smiling seems to be forbidden for Cebu Pacific staff. Try Air Asia Zhest or PhilAepress or Air Phil. They are the best in Customer Friendlyness.

    Cebu Pacific has the typical monoploist attitude. They are not happy you fly with them. You must be happy they allow you to fly Ceby Pacific. At the end of their flights they always say: Thank you for choosing Cebu Pacific. I always think: I had no choice. And if there was another choice, I would have chosen one.

    Soon I will fly Manila - Dubai with Cebu Pacific as I choose PhilExpress for Dubai - Manila. It is really low budget flying and i will never do it again. Not only is there no inflight TV system, also the chairs are too small and wouldnt even be comfortaable on a 45 minute flight from Cebu to Butuan. Let aside an 8 hours flight. This is not Cebu Pacific typical thought. The PhilExpress flight and airplane was of the same too narrow 'we-transport-cattle' type of configuration. Only one thing counts. The profit the airline makes. On Check in at Dubai - mind you, you have to appear 4 hours before the flight! - PhilExpress let people stand and wait for 3 hours withourt any notification what was going on and why chek didnt start. This is because the have no customers. They just transport bodies of maybe even just kilo's.

    I bnever had such bad flying experiences as on my Phil flightss, apart from the flights with AirAsia and Zhest to Singapore.

    Next time I pay $100 more again and I fly Cathay Pacific through HongKong to Amsterdam, or KLM with a stop in Taipei.

    Low cost on longhaul is not working for me. Think twice before you book...

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  10. Looking forward to enjoy this route very soon. Will have a lot of fun. Thanks Cebu.
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