Cebu Pacific boosts capacity in key hubs

Richmond Mercurio - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — Budget carrier Cebu Pacific has ramped up its capacity in key hubs to address increasing demand from tourists and business travelers.

The expansion is being undertaken through a combination of additional flights and upgrading to aircraft with more seats.

In its Cebu hub, the Gokongwei-owned carrier has increased the weekly frequency of flights to and from Cagayan de Oro (Laguindingan), Dumaguete, Siargao, Iloilo, Caticlan (Boracay), Ozamiz and Zamboanga by an average of 63 percent starting last April 15.

Flights between Manila and Cebu had likewise increased by 24 percent.

The increase in flights from its Cebu hub is on top of its six-times-weekly Cebu-Shanghai and Shanghai-Cebu routes which also began last April 15.

Cebu Pacific earlier said it would ramp up capacity in its Cebu hub by as much as 20 percent this year.

It is positioning Cebu as its beach hub—with strategic connections to top vacation destinations such as Siargao, Camiguin, Puerto Princesa and Caticlan (Boracay).

From Cebu, the carrier also mounts direct flights to Bacolod, Butuan, Cagayan de Oro, Calbayog, Clark, Davao, Dumaguete, General Santos, Kalibo, Legazpi, Pagadian, Surigao, Tacloban, Hong Kong, Macau, Tokyo (Narita), Singapore and Incheon.

For its Clark hub, Cebu Pacific has also boosted capacity of flights to and from Caticlan (Boracay) by shifting from the 78-seat ATR 72-600 aircraft to the Airbus A320.

The carrier earlier announced it would launch daily flights between Clark and Iloilo; Clark and Bacolod; as well as Clark and Narita, starting Aug. 9 and daily flights between Clark and Puerto Princesa starting Oct. 9.

“We are now in a position to allot aircraft to expand key routes in our other hubs. We are excited over the prospects for growth and will continue to roll-out new routes when the opportunities arise,” said Alexander Lao, vice president for Commercial Planning of Cebu Pacific.

Meanwhile, Cebu Pacific will also mount an additional daily flight between Manila and Bangkok starting April 28, raising capacity by 41 percent.

The carrier is also upgauging aircraft for key international routes from Manila starting this month, switching to its 236-seat Airbus A321NE0 for flights to and from Narita and Denpasar (Bali) to ramp up capacity by three percent, and to its 436-seat Airbus A330 for its Osaka and Shanghai routes, which will grow the number of seats by 90 percent each.

In 2018, Cebu Pacific flew over 20 million passengers to 37 domestic and 26 international destinations, across over 107 routes spanning Asia, Australia, the Middle East and USA.

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