Cebu Pacific says Sangley development a ‘quick win’
Richmond Mercurio (The Philippine Star) - June 16, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Budget carrier Cebu Pacific fully supports the government’s initiative to fasttrack the development of the Sangley Airport in Cavite.

The country’s leading budget carrier welcomed the plan to turn the air force base into a new facility to complement the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) in Manila.

“The transfer of general aviation—or private aircraft operations to Sangley — is a quick win and will yield immediate positive results for NAIA,” Cebu Pacific chief operations officer Michael Ivan Shau said.

“As an initial step, we have committed to establish our turboprop cargo operations at Sangley,” Shau said.

Cebu Pacific is in the final phase of converting two of its ATR 72-500 passenger aircraft into full freighter planes—the only commercial passenger airline in the Philippines to have specialized aircraft to transport cargo.

The first of the two freighter aircraft is expected to enter into service before August.

Turbo-prop aircraft, such as the ATR fleet operated by Cebu Pacific subsidiary Cebgo, are typically used in airports with runways less than 1.2 kilometers long which are too short for jet aircraft.

Cebu Pacific said only about one-third of the 90 airports in the country can land jets.   

At present, Cebu Pacific flies to 37 domestic destinations, including routes where jet operations are not possible such as Marinduque, Batanes, Busuanga, Camiguin and Siargao.

Its 71-strong fleet comprises one A321NEO, 35 Airbus A320, seven Airbus A321CEO, eight Airbus A330, eight ATR 72-500, and 12 ATR 72-600 aircraft.

Cebgo, a subsidiary of Cebu Pacific, uses the ATR aircraft for domestic destinations where jet operations are not possible.

Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade has ordered the 24/7 construction of Sangley Airport to accelerate completion of the project and meet the November deadline set by President Duterte.

Tugade said the move to relocate general aviation would free up space in the four terminals of the NAIA to allow improvements in the country’s main international gateway.

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