PAL, Cebu Pacific expanding to more foreign destinations

Louella Desiderio (The Philippine Star) - May 29, 2018 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Local carriers Philippine Airlines (PAL) and Cebu Pacific are set to continue to expand in international markets to take advantage of rising international passenger traffic amid the country’s strong economic growth and emergence as an attractive tourist destination, think tank Center for Asia Pacific Aviation (CAPA) said.

In a report focused on the Philippine international aviation market, CAPA said both PAL and Cebu Pacific would continue their international expansion this year.

Capa said PAL would continue its international expansion as it takes delivery of new aircraft particularly, six new Airbus A321neos and four A350-900s this year.

PAL would use the A321neos to expand in Australia and launch flights to India, while the A350s will be utilized to increase capacity in North America.

Low cost carrier Cebu Pacific is also planning to increase international seat capacity by 13 to 15 percent this year as the overall market continues to grow rapidly.

The Gokongwei-owned carrier is expanding its A320 family fleet by seven aircraft this year.

Both carriers are set to continue to expand international operations amid the growing international passenger market in the country.

CAPA said the Philippine international market has more than doubled over the last decade to reach 24.43 million passengers last year from just 11.5 million passengers in 2007.

Scheduled international passenger traffic to and from the Philippines rose by 12 percent last year, the third consecutive year of double-digit growth and fastest rate seen since 2010.

 “A surging economy and the Philippines emergence as a popular tourist destination have driven rapid growth over the last three years,” CAPA said.

CAPA said foreign arrivals to the Philippines have been growing at the same rate as international traffic.

In particular, foreign visitor numbers to the country grew by 37 percent to 6.62 million last year from 4.83 million in 2014, based on data from the Department of Tourism.

During the same three-year period, international passenger traffic in the country went up by 36 percent to 24.43 million last year from 17.92 million in 2014.

PAL has been able to maintain a 28 percent share of the international market, while Cebu Pacific has kept a 20 percent share in the past three years.

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