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Cebu Pac eyes 18 M passengers this year

MANILA, Philippines - Cebu Air Inc. (Cebu Pacific) and newly-rebranded Cebgo expect to fly 18 million passengers amid the steady increase in domestic traffic, as well as the launch of additional long-haul routes.

Cebu Pacific president Lance Gokongwei said the airlines’ low fares combined with more domestic routes as well as the launch of more long-haul destinations this year would translate to more passengers.

“I think we are shooting for about 18 million for both Cebu Pacific and Cebgo,” Gokongwei said.

This year’s target is 6.5 percent higher than the number of passengers serviced by Cebu Pacific and Cebgo last year. Both airlines flew 16.9 million passengers last year or 17.5 percent higher compared to 14.35 million in 2013.

“I think the growth will come from some increases in domestic and short haul. In terms of percentage increase the greatest increase will come from the long haul,” Gokongwei added.

Cebu Pacific and Cebgo – formerly Tiger Airways Philippines – flew 4.3 million passengers in the first quarter of the year, 13 percent higher compared to 3.8 million in the same period last year.

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Gokongwei said Cebu Pacific is set to launch direct flights to Doha, Qatar on June 4, beefing up its long-haul routes including Dubai, Riyadh, Sydney, and Kuwait.

According to him, the budget carrier is looking at mounting direct flights to Hawaii and Guam within the year.

Cebu Pacific operates an extensive route network, serving 55 domestic routes and 36 international routes with a total of 2,597 scheduled weekly flights. It operates from seven hubs including the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA); Mactan-Cebu International Airport; Diosdado Macapagal International Airport (DMIA); Davao International Airport; Iloilo International Airport; and the Kalibo International Airport.

Earnings of Cebu Pacific surged 1,255 percent to P2.22 billion in the first three months of the year from P161.16 million in the same period last year while revenues grew 20.7 percent to P14.2 billion from P11.76 billion.



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