By Azer N. Parrocha
MANILA, April 23 (PNA) — Low-cost carrier Cebu Pacific announced on Thursday its plan to expand its flight services in Australia on the back of growing passenger traffic.
This was after the airline carried last January 2015 the most number of passengers in direct flights to Sydney from Manila — a total of 13,875 passengers.
Cebu Pacific General Manager for Long Haul Division Alex Reyes, in a statement, expressed excitement with plans to further expand operations and welcomed the development.
“In the first four months of operations, (Cebu Pacific’s) low fares and direct, non-stop services significantly stimulated inbound traffic into the Philippines and Australia,” Reyes said.
“We look forward to expanding our services and further growing inbound tourism into our countries,” he added.
The airline started operating four times weekly non-stop flights to Sydney last Sept. 9, 2014. It added a fifth frequency after three months.
From September to December 2014, Australia’s Bureau of Infrastructure Trade and Regional Economics (BITRE) reported a 42 percent increase in passenger traffic between Sydney and Manila.
Prior to the airline’s entry, passenger traffic in the route had been growing at a compound annual growth rate of eight percent over five years.
At present, Cebu Pacific is fully utilizing its seat entitlements to Australia. It is set to participate in air talks which will be held in Canberra, Australia on April 28.
The airline’s 55-strong fleet is comprised of 10 Airbus A319, 31 Airbus A320, six Airbus A330 and eight ATR 72-500 aircraft.
Between 2015 and 2021, it will take delivery of seven more brand-new Airbus A320 and 30 Airbus A321neo aircraft. (PNA)