Cebu Pacific Could Fly to Oman by June

A report in the Oman Daily Observer suggests that budget airline Cebu Pacific may be considering launching direct flights between Manila and Muscat beginning in June of this year. 

cebu pacific muscat
Image Source: Cebu Pacific
According to Hjayceelyn Quintana, Deputy Head of Mission at the Philippines Embassy in Muscat, talks are currently in progress to launch the direct flights between the two countries with Cebu Pacific all set to launch the operation likely by the middle of this year.

In an interview with the Oman Daily Obersever, Quintana noted that the new service would be welcome news for the overseas Filipino workers currently residing in the region. "Cebu Pacific's operation would certainly be a welcome move as the community has been waiting for this for quite a long time," said Quintana. "This would be of great help for the 31,000-strong Filipino community in Oman."

Last year, Cebu Pacific filed an application with the Civil Aeronautics Board for the allocation of traffic rights to Oman. The airline requested to be designated as the official carrier with six weekly frequencies. Two frequencies would be between Manila and Oman while the remaining four would be from Clark International Airport to other points in Oman.

In 2009, the Philippines and Oman forged a new air services agreement that would permit at least 19 direct flights between Oman and the Philippines per week. Oman Air was the designated carrier on behalf of the Sultanate of Oman while Philippine Airlines was the designated carrier of the Philippines. However, flights failed to materialize.

Philippine Airlines applied last year to the Civil Aeronautics Board for seat entitlements to operate a service between Manila and Muscat four times weekly beginning at the end of January of this year. However, no further schedules or announcements have been made since. Oman Air attempted to seek the authority to fly between the two cities last year but failed to obtain permission after the Civil Aeronautics Board denied their application due to congestion at Ninoy Aquino International Airport. CAB reported that they could not grant the slots requested by Oman Air as they were currently not available. 

Meanwhile, Cebu Pacific took delivery of its latest Airbus A330-300 aircraft last month. The addition of the aircraft brings the airline's wide-body fleet up to a total of three aircraft. Cebu Pacific deployed the aircraft on one flight between Manila and Cebu and two flights between Manila and Davao on February 25. The 436-seat aircraft is expected to operate the flights until June 14. If Cebu Pacific's Oman plans move forward, it is possible that this aircraft will be deployed on flights to Oman after June 14. 

Between February 25 and June 14, the newest Cebu Pacific A330 will operate flight 5J 8563 departing Manila for Cebu at 6:10am and flight 5J 8564 departing Cebu for Manila at 8:40am. In addition, the same aircraft will operate flight 5J 8975 departing Manila at 11:10am for Davao and flight 5J 8968 departing Davao for Manila at 2:25pm. The final domestic A330 service for the day will depart Manila at 5:40pm as flight 5J 8973 bound for Davao. The return flight 5J 8974 will depart Davao back to Manila at 8:55pm. 

"We want to serve Cebu and Davao guests on our newest A330 aircraft, offering travel products such as Cebu Pacific Air Wi-Fi," said Candice Iyog, Vice President for Marketing & Distribution. "These additional seats are just in time for the Philippine summer season, so we encourage guests to book their flights in advance for the most travel savings." She added that the airline's third new A330 aircraft from France not only increases seats available to Cebu and Davao, but also adds fuel saving technology that will allow the airline to maintain low fares on the routes.  

Cebu Pacific's Wi-Fi service is exclusive to its Airbus A330 aircraft currently operated on flights from Manila to Dubai, Seoul Incheon, and Singapore. Data plans range from 50MB to 100MB. 

1 comment:

  1. 2 frequencies from Manila to Muscat and 4 frequencies from Clark to any point in Oman? That is ridiculous. The only other major airport in Oman aside from the one in the capital is Salalah, that is about 1000 kms from the capital city. Though it is a tourist area for Omanis, that is more like a countryside retreat akeen to Samar of which traffic between Clark and Salalah will be almost zero. 4 frequencies between Manila and Muscat is more realistic.


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