CEBU PACIFIC is considering opening new routes to Australia as the budget carrier saw rising demand for its Manila flights to Sydney and Melbourne last year.
In a statement on Thursday, Cebu Pacific Vice-President for Marketing Candice Jennifer A. Iyog said they are looking at “connecting key cities such as Perth or Cairns” to add to its existing destinations Sydney and Melbourne.
“As more brand-new aircraft enters the (Cebu Pacific) fleet, we are now in a position to seriously study the possibility of expanding to more destinations in Australia. We are encouraged by our performance in the Australia market,” Ms. Iyog was quoted as saying.
A recent report from Australia’s Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics (BITRE) showed Cebu Pacific flew 27,519 passengers between the Philippines and Australia in December 2018, up 45.7% from the 18,889 it recorded in the same month in 2017.
The budget carrier opened its Manila-Melbourne route in August last year, its second link to Australia after it launched the Manila-Sydney route in 2014.
“We have an average market share of about 40% for our Melbourne and Sydney routes. We are pleased with the strong reception in Melbourne for Cebu Pacific,” Ms. Iyog said.
Citing data from Tourism Australia, Cebu Pacific said tourists from the Philippines to the country grew 11.7% in the January to November period to 140,700. Data on the Philippines’ Tourism department website likewise showed visitors from Australia rose 6.61% to 186,851 during the January to September period.
The carrier is expecting to receive six Airbus A321neos (new engine option), five A320neos and one ATR 72-600 by the end of the year, which it eyes to use for new destinations to Australia, India, Russia and Northern Japan. — Denise A. Valdez