LOW-COST carrier Cebu Pacific Air’s (CEB) budget long-haul flights boosted its passenger traffic by 9 percent in 2015 as it flew 18.4 million travelers during the year, surpassing its target.
CEB attributed the considerable increase in passengers in 2015 to its long-haul flights and increased frequencies in domestic markets.
It also posted notable passenger growth in its international destinations such as Hong Kong, Tokyo (Narita) and Nagoya in Japan, and Beijing and Shanghai in China.
“Last January 3, 2016, the Cebu Pacific Air group carried a total of 62,947 passengers—the highest number of travelers we have ever flown in one day. This scalable growth in our key domestic and international markets reflects our commitment in driving trade and tourism in the countries we operate in, and enabling more travelers to connect with families and friends around the globe,” said lawyer JR Mantaring, CEB vice president for Corporate Affairs.
CEB’s long-haul flights grew 146 percent year-on-year and it also increased its flights in destinations like Australia and Middle East.
CEB carried over 150,000 passengers between Manila and Sydney for full-year 2015.
Based on the latest report from Australia’s Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics (BITRE), the airline remains the largest carrier on the Manila-Sydney route, with 40 percent market share from November 2014 to October 2015. During this period, overall traffic between Manila and Sydney also grew by 69 percent.
Meanwhile, passenger growth on flights to and from the Middle East remained robust, driven by sustained capacity between Manila and Riyadh, Kuwait, and Dubai, and the launch of Manila-Doha in June 2015.
Among the Middle East routes, flights between Manila and Dubai posted the highest number of passengers, with over 230,000 guests flown in 2015.
Passengers flown to short haul international destinations such as Hong Kong, Japan and China also increased. Passenger volume to and from Japan, in particular, grew by 39 percent to over 280,000 in 2015 as CEB successfully stimulated traffic with the launch of its operations from Manila and Cebu to Tokyo (Narita), and Manila to Nagoya. The airline also mounted flights between Manila and Fukuoka, its fourth destination in Japan, in December 2015.
CEB’s domestic passengers increased by 7.41 percent in 2015, following added frequencies between Manila and Tagbilaran (Bohol), and Cebu and Tandag (Surigao del Sur). Both routes posted over 100 percent in passenger growth year-on-year.
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.