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Cebu Pacific overshoots 18-M passenger volume target

MANILA, Philippines – Budget carrier Cebu Pacific saw a nine percent growth in total passenger volume in 2015, mainly driven by long-haul services and increased frequencies in key domestic markets.

In a statement yesterday, Cebu Pacific said it carried a total of 18.4 million passengers last year, up from the 16.9 million passengers flown in 2014.

The latest passenger volume result is also higher than the carrier’s 18 million target for last year.

On average, the airline’s flights were 83 percent full during the year.

Passengers flown on the airline’s long-haul routes surged by 146 percent year-on-year, amid increased presence in Australia and the Middle East.

Cebu Pacific flew a total of 150,000 passengers for its Manila-Sydney route last year.

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According to the latest report from Australia’s Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics, Cebu Pacific remains the largest carrier on the Manila-Sydney route, with a 40 percent market share from November 2014 to October 2015.

Passenger growth was also seen on flights from Manila to Middle East destinations such as Riyadh in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Dubai in United Arab Emirates and Doha in Qatar.

Among the Middle East routes, flights between Manila and Dubai had the highest number of passengers with over 230,000 guests carried last year.

The airline also noted passenger growth in international destinations such as Hong Kong, Tokyo (Narita) and Nagoya in Japan, and Beijing and Shanghai in China.

The passenger volume on flights to Japan registered a 39 percent uptick to over 280,000 in 2015 as Cebu Pacific started operations on new routes: Manila and Cebu to Tokyo (Narita),  Manila to Nagoya, and Manila to Fukuoka.

Cebu Pacific’s domestic passengers, meanwhile, rose 7.41 percent year-on-year as the airline added frequencies on the Manila-Tagbilaran (Bohol), and Cebu-Tandag (Surigao del Sur) routes.

Both domestic routes saw an over 100 percent jump in passenger growth year-on-year.

Last Jan. 3, Cebu Pacific’s  passenger volume hit 62,947, the highest number of travellers carried by the airline in a day.

“This scalable growth in our key domestic and international markets reflects our commitment in driving trade and tourism in the countries we operate in, and enabling more travellers to connect with families and friends around the globe,” Cebu Pacific vice president for corporate affairs Paterno Mantaring Jr. said.

 Owned by the Gokongwei family, Cebu Pacific offers flights to a network of over 90 routes on 64 destinations, spanning Asia, Australia, and the Middle East.

The airline is expanding its operations with the launch of direct flights from Manila to Guam, its first US destination, on March 15.

The carrier currently has 57 aircraft on its fleet.

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