CEBU PACIFIC said on Wednesday it would have to continue its efforts to boost air travel as the budget carrier cannot afford to wait for a coronavirus vaccine.

“I think we cannot afford to wait for the vaccine to get here before we start to confidently fly again because of the impact of travel and tourism on the economy,” Candice A. Iyog, Cebu Pacific vice president for marketing and customer service, said at a virtual forum on Wednesday.

She said the low-cost carrier, operated by Cebu Air, Inc., is “finding the right balance based on the information it has, based on the technology, and based on what it has in place today so that it can already start calibrating and moving closer towards where its peers are.”

On Monday, Cebu Air President and Chief Executive Officer Lance Y. Gokongwei said at a Palace briefing that the “airline sector is really under severe stress.”

“This year, we will lose almost P25 billion. But I think that’s part of doing business,” he added.

Mr. Gokongwei said the company’s main priority for now is to operate the airline “in a very safe and secure manner for both its passengers and employees” in order to regain people’s confidence in flying amid the pandemic.

The low-cost carrier also announced on Wednesday that it will be offering its trademark “piso” seat sale from Dec. 10 to 12 for travels from Aug. 1 to Nov. 30 next year.

“A lot of us are looking forward to experiencing the wonders of travel again, especially now that we are seeing more domestic destinations reopen its doors for tourists. We firmly believe the holiday season is the perfect time to share this gift with everyJuan,” Ms. Iyog said.

Cebu Air’s net loss for the third quarter of the year widened to P5.54 billion from the P375.67 million loss it incurred a year earlier, mainly as a result of low passenger traffic.

Its revenues for the third quarter dropped 89.4% to P2.01 billion.

Cebu Air’s shares closed at P51.35 each on Wednesday, gaining five centavos or 0.10%. — Arjay L. Balinbin