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CebuPac, Tiger fly 16.9-M passengers in 2014

MANILA, Philippines - Budget carriers Cebu Air Inc. (Cebu Pacific) and Tiger Airways Philippines flew 16.87 million passengers last year amid the expansion of its domestic and international routes with the arrival of brand new Airbus aircraft.

 The airlines reported a higher load factor of 83.9 percent from 81.9 percent translating to a 17.5 percent increases compared to 14.35 million passengers flown in 2013. The actual figure of passengers served was short of the 17 million target set last year.

The Gokongwei-led airlines achieved notable passenger growth in both domestic and several international markets, with increased presence in the Middle East and Japan, and its entry into Australia.

 Cebu Pacific launched direct non-stop flights from Manila to Kuwait, Riyadh, and Dammam. It also launched flights to Sydney in Australia as well as Nagoya and Osaka in Japan. It also mounted additional flights to Dubai.

 In the domestic market, Tigerair Philippines launched flights to Butuan, Clark, Cagayan de Oro, Davao, General Santos, Roxas, and Tagbilaran from its hubs in Manila and Cebu.

 The number of aircraft of Cebu Pacific increased to 52 last year from 47 in 2013 while number of flights increased by 6.9 percent to 122,994 from 115,005.

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 For the month of December alone, Cebu Pacific and Tigerair Philippines flew 1.54 million passengers or 23.5 percent higher compared to 1.24 million in the same month in 2013.

The number of flights increased 12.2 percent to 10,974 in December from 9,783 in the same month in 2013.

The airline was assessed a record fine of P52.11 million by the Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) due to massive complaints about delayed and cancelled flights during the Christmas holidays.

CAB executive director Carmelo Arcilla earlier said Cebu Pacific paid the entire amount assessed by the regulator for non-compliance with the conditions of its permit last Jan. 29.

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