CEB to fly direct to Shanghai
Carlo S. Lorenciana (The Freeman) - March 26, 2019 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines — Cebu Pacific yesterday announced it will start flying direct from Cebu to Shanghai on April 15, expanding further Cebu's connectivity to mainland China.

The Gokongwei-led carrier's maiden six-times-a-week Cebu flight into China comes amid the growing potential of the Chinese market in tourism exchange between Cebu and the world's second largest economy.

Charo Lagamon, corporate communications director, made the announcement Monday during an event at Marco Polo Plaza Cebu.

She said the launch of a new international route from Cebu solidifies the carrier’s goal of making the country’s second largest city its important hub.

As of mid-March, she noted the airline has expanded its flights out of Cebu by an average of 12 percent.

It was in 2002 when the budget carrier first launched its international flight from Cebu to Incheon, South Korea. 

Since then, it has flown from Cebu to other Asian destinations such as Hong Kong, Singapore, Narita (Japan) and Macau.

From Cebu, it also flies to 22 domestic destinations. 

Capacity between MCIA and China more than doubled in 2018 following a string of new route additions and service increases.

Figures provided by OAG Schedules Analyser show that China is now the third largest international destination from Cebu following an increase of almost 150,000 available two-way seats in 2018, compared with the previous 12 months.

Cebu was connected to 13 points in mainland China in 2018, with Shenzhen, Guangzhou and Changsha new destinations added.

However, South Korea remains MCIA’s largest international market, with total capacity growing 12.3 percent in 2018 to 974,931 available seats. Japan remains second despite a 0.3 percent drop.

Earlier, Erwin Balane, who heads the route development at the Department of Tourism, said China has risen as among the strongest markets for Cebu, alongside Korea and Japan.

He had said China remains a top priority in future route prospects for Cebu.

China emerges as a strong driver of international traffic for Mactan-Cebu International Airport, as more Chinese cities are seen to be directly connected by air to Cebu this year.

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