Which Long Haul Destination is Next for Cebu Pacific?

After launching its first ever long haul flight using wide-body aircraft to Dubai last October, Cebu Pacific is poised to continue its long-haul global expansion as it seeks to attract more tourists and overseas Filipino workers to its growing route network. 

cebu pacific a330
Copyright Photo: Angelo Agcamaran/PPSG
Cebu Pacific will be taking delivery of an additional three A330-300 wide-body aircraft for long range flights this year. According to Lance Gokongwei, CEO of Cebu Pacific, an aircraft is expected to be delivered each quarter beginning in the second quarter of 2014. That would bring the entire Cebu Pacific A330 fleet to a total of five aircraft by the end of this year. The airline is currently pushing ahead with plans to grow the fleet to as many as eight aircraft. 

"We intend to use the A330 aircraft for long-haul flights, including Middle East, and potentially, Australia," said Gokongwei. Cebu Pacific's first wide-body aircraft which arrived in June of 2013 was deployed on routes to Singapore and Seoul Incheon. The second aircraft that arrived last September was deployed on the airline's first ever long-haul route to Dubai on October 7. 

With three additional aircraft arriving this year, most are curious as to what Cebu Pacific's upcoming long-haul destinations will be. Previous reports have suggested that Cebu Pacific will begin flying to Doha next sometime early in 2014. The airline also recently applied for the right to apply fuel surcharges on routes to the Saudi Arabian cities of Riyadh and Dammam hinting that flights could be launched within the year. It also previously expressed interest in serving Jeddah.

While no formal announcements have been made, what is clear is that Cebu Pacific's long-haul model continues to be driven by destinations with large populations of overseas Filipino workers. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is a prudent choice serving as home to 1.8 million Filipinos. 

Gokongwei's most recent comments suggest that at least two of the aircraft are likely to be deployed to the Middle East leaving the third aircraft delivered this year potentially for Australia. Cebu Pacific previously expressed interest in serving Sydney and Melbourne with a report released in April 2013 indicating that a Memorandum of Understanding had been signed with Avalon Airport that serves the greater Melbourne area. 

Although Australia remains a promising market for Cebu Pacific, other opportunities are also on the horizon that may prove to be more enticing than Australia. Cebu Pacific previously announced that it was interested in flying to the United States with initial plans to serve Guam and Honolulu. However, those plans cannot proceed until the Philippines is able to upgrade its US aviation safety rating to Category 1. The Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines remains confident that a favourable announcement will be made early in 2014. 

Cebu Pacific has also expressed interest in serving Europe. The carrier previously indicated that it was interested in serving the city of Moscow in Russia. The Philippines and Russia are due to negotiate a new air agreement in February or March of this year. Tel Aviv in Israel is also an option that remains on the table following a new air agreement established between the two countries late in 2013. Cebu Pacific recently filed an application with the Civil Aeronautics Board requesting to be designated as the official Philippine carrier serving Israel. The airline requested permission for 7 weekly flights between Manila and Tel Aviv. Filipinos are permitted visa-free access to Israel. 

This year is expected to be an exciting year of expansion for Cebu Pacific with new flights also planned to Japan later this year. Meanwhile, the travelling public anxiously awaits further announcements on what Cebu Pacific's new international destinations will be. 


  1. MOSCOW is the best option to increase tourism


  2. PH, France conclude air talks - Solar News


    But some people prefer the full service carrier

  3. I would like Cebu Pacific to fly in Canada as a low budget airline all economy seats with individual AVOD in each passenger seats to compliment this 12-14 hours long haul flight to Manila.

  4. Frankfurt-Manila nonstop

  5. Here in Australia, majority of the filipinos work as "Fly in Fly out" (mostly 2weeks on work and then 1 week off)).so this will be a good market for CEB if they will have flights here and this will also benefit kababayans on going back home frequently on a regular basis. Sobrang mahal po kasi ng PAL. kuPAL pa naman ang service minsan :-)


Powered by Blogger.