The Philippines’ leading low-cost carrier, Cebu Pacific (PSE: CEB) sent off its first long-haul flight at 4:40 p.m. on October 7. The daily nine-hour Manila-Dubai direct service serves as a milestone for the airline that has made its mark in short-haul regional and domestic operations.
CEB president and CEO Lance Gokongwei said during the flight launch ceremony, “When you, dear guests, land in Dubai later tonight, it will be aboard the first Philippine carrier to land in Dubai in 15 years. We proudly carry the Philippine flag in this historic moment.
“When we say we fly to where Filipinos are, we mean it. This was our mind set when we launched our first international flight to Hong Kong in 2001. This remains our mind set as we launch our 22nd international destination now,” he added.
Data from the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration shows that UAE ranks second to Saudi Arabia in terms of number of land-based new hires and rehires. In 2012, there were 259,546 land-based workers deployed to UAE.
Department of Transportation and Communications Undersecretary and chairman of the Philippine Air Negotiating Panel Jose Perpetuo Lotilla and key officials from the Embassy of the United Arab Emirates, Civil Aeronautics Board, Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines and Manila International Airport Authority sent off the maiden flight passengers from Manila.
In Dubai, the send-off ceremony was graced by Her Excellency Grace Princesa, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of the Philippines in the United Arab Emirates.
The maiden return flight departed Dubai at 11:10 p.m. (Dubai time) on the same day and arrived at 11:40 a.m. on October 8. The flight also carried 100 Global Filipinos Cebu Pacific is flying home for free, as part of its “100 Lucky Juans” contest. The 100 Lucky Juans, whose length of stay in the Middle East without returning to the Philippines is at least a year, were welcomed with a homecoming party upon their arrival in Manila.
CEB’s Manila-Dubai-Manila service utilizes CEB’s brand-new Airbus A330 aircraft, recently delivered from Toulouse, France.
CEB’s 47-strong fleet is comprised of 10 Airbus A319, 27 Airbus A320, 2 Airbus A330 and 8 ATR-72 500 aircraft. It is one of the most modern aircraft fleets in the world. Between 2013 and 2021, Cebu Pacific will take delivery of 15 more brand-new Airbus A320, 30 Airbus A321neo, and 4 Airbus A330 aircraft.
It flies to 34 Philippine and 22 international destinations, on over 90 routes from 6 Philippine hubs. This includes flights to Boracay, Cebu, Palawan, Beijing, Osaka, Seoul, Bali, Singapore, Hong Kong and Bangkok.
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With lowest year-round fares starting at P4,999 (AED 349), CEB offers passengers fares that are up to 35-percent lower than other carriers. It also offers the fastest and easiest same-day connections with CEB’s extensive Philippine route network. For bookings and information, visit www.cebupacificair.com or call (02) 702-0888 or (032) 230-8888. The latest seat sales can also be found on the Cebu Pacific Air official Facebook Fan Page and @CebuPacificAir on Twitter.