THE Philippines’ leading airline Cebu Pacific on Thursday lauded the start of Legazpi International Airport’s night operations, calling it “a great step towards achieving the decongestion of NAIA,” referring to the Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Metro Manila.
“We are commending CAAP [Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines] for taking action on our request. We believe this improvement in Legazpi is a move in the right direction as we continue to work with relevant authorities for night operations in other key Philippine destinations, such as Caticlan, Roxas, Naga and Dumaguete, among others,” said JR Mantaring, CEB vice president for corporate affairs.
CEB is the first carrier to operate night flights out of the Legazpi International Airport after the CAAP upgraded it as night-capable.
Following a series of technical reviews and consultations with relevant aviation authorities, including the CAAP and the Department of Transportation (DOTr), the Legazpi International Airport has been declared ready to accommodate night flights and is now equipped with the necessary facilities and manpower.
With night flights available, passengers now have more schedules to choose from while having access to even lower fares. It will also further boost tourism in other major cities around Legazpi, the airline said.
The Legazpi International Airport is the main airport of the Bicol Region located at the city center of Legazpi, serving the provinces of Albay and Sorsogon.
CEB currently operates six daily flights to and from Legazpi via Manila and Cebu. The evening flights, which are operated by Cebgo depart Manila at 6:15 p.m. and 7:20 p.m., and arrive in Legazpi at 7:40 p.m. and 8:45 p.m., respectively. The return flights depart Legazpi at 8:20 p.m. and 9:35 PM, and arrive in Manila at 9:40 p.m. and 10:55 p.m., respectively.
Cebgo is the wholly-owned subsidiary of CEB, which operates out of NAIA Terminal 4. The rest of the flights are operated by Cebu Pacific and operate out of NAIA Terminal 3.
Night-capability was one of the key initiatives requested by CEB in 2012, in order for airlines to spread out their flights throughout the day and as a result, lessen traffic congestion in the NAIA runway during the peak noon to early afternoon schedule.
CEB’s 58-strong fleet is comprised of six Airbus A319, 36 Airbus A320, six Airbus A330, eight ATR 72-500, and two ATR 72-600 aircraft. Between 2016 and 2021, CEB expects delivery of two more brand-new Airbus A330, 32 Airbus A321neo, and 14 ATR 72-600 aircraft.