CEB eyes more Asean flights

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WITH the Asean Open Skies Agreement ratified, local low-cost carrier Cebu Pacific Air (CEB) is mulling more flights to Southeast Asian destinations.

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CEB, which currently flies to 11 destinations in seven Asean member states, is looking to take advantage of a recently signed open skies agreement. President Benigno Aquino 3rd signed Protocols 5 and 6 of the Asean Multilateral Agreement on Air Services (MAAS) on February 3.

The agreement allows designated carriers of Asean countries to operate unlimited flights between capitals, leading to better connectivity and more competitive fares and services.

“Cebu Pacific looks forward to mounting additional flights to key destinations within Asean, and will make necessary announcements as soon as runway slots and terminal approvals are secured,” CEB vice president for corporate affairs JR Mantaring said in an e-mail response.

Currently, CEB covers flights to Siem Reap in Cambodia, Indonesia (Bali and Jakarta), Malaysia (Kuala Lumpur and Kota Kinabalu), Singapore, Thailand (Bangkok and Phuket), and Vietnam (Hanoi and Saigon). Through CEB’s interline agreement with Tigerair Singapore, CEB also offers flights to Myanmar (Yangon), via Singapore.

CEB said that with the Open Skies Agreement, the airline can further expand its network with more flights to and from key destinations in Asean, to meet the growing travel demand within the region.

“Definitely, the ratification of the Asean Open Skies agreement will pave the way for better services, better connectivity, and more affordable options for our passengers,” Mantaring added.

Cebu Pacific’s 57-strong fleet is comprised of eight Airbus A319, 35 Airbus A320, six Airbus A330, and eight ATR 72-500 aircraft. It is one of the most modern aircraft fleets in the world. Between 2016 and 2021, CEB expects delivery of three more brand-new Airbus A320, 30 Airbus A321neo, and 16 ATR 72-600 aircraft.

CEB offers flights to a network of over 90 routes on 64 destinations, spanning Asia, Australia, and the Middle East. It is slated to launch direct flights between Manila and Guam, its first US destination, on March 15, 2016.

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