Cebu Pacific passenger volume up 6% in Q1
MANILA, Philippines – Cebu Pacific is off to a good start this year as it booked an increase in first-quarter passenger volume, thanks to the opening of new routes.
The Gokongwei-owned budget carrier flew 3.741 million passengers in January to March, up 6% from 3.533 million in the same period last year.
Lawyer Jorenz Tanada, vice president for corporate affairs, said the increase was brought about by new routes and additional flights launched in the region.
"We can attribute passenger growth to increased presence in key domestic and international markets such as Japan, Indonesia, and China."
Cebu Pacific is optimistic about its overall performance this year. It plans to launch long-haul flights to the US and Europe after favorable decisions from international aviation authorities. The US upgraded the Philippines' aviation status back to Category 1, allowing local carriers to operate and expand there, while the European Union lifted a multi-year ban on Cebu Pacific.
Cebu Pacific expects to fly more than 15 million passengers in 2014, while newly acquired Tiger Airways Philippines targets 2 million passengers, putting their total at over 17 million.
The airline wants to start services to Hawaii and Guam in the US. In Europe, it is looking at London, Paris and Amsterdam.
In 2013, Cebu Pacific missed its passenger volume target after passengers turned cautious following 2 runway accidents involving its planes. Fight cancellations due to typhoons also weighed on the airline's performance. – Rappler.com