The operator of Cebu Pacific Air has asked the Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) for additional frequencies between Manila and Tokyo Haneda Airport in Japan.
In a filing with the CAB, Cebu Pacific said it is asking for the reallocation of unused frequencies of two weekly coefficients on the route Manila-Haneda vice versa from the utilized seat entitlements previously allocated to Philippine Airlines Inc.
In a letter to Executive Director Carmelo Arcilla, Cebu Pacific said Japan remains to be one of its vital destinations and it has expanded its operations to this market since the liberalization of air services between Japan and the Philippines in 2013.
Cebu Pacific currently offers the following services to Japan: Manila-Nagoya-Manila, four weekly frequencies; Manila-Osaka-Manila, five weekly frequencies; Manila-Tokyo (Narita)-Manila, seven weekly frequencies; and Cebu-Tokyo (Narita)-Manila, four weekly frequencies.
The airline is also set to launch services to Fukuoka “in the remaining part of summer 2015.”
Data from the National Tourism Organization of Japan showed that a month after Cebu Pacific launched direct daily services to Tokyo (Narita) and four weekly services to Nagoya in March 2014, Philippine visitor arrivals in Japan grew by 129 percent in April 2014. The following month, Philippine visitor arrivals grew by 71.5 percent, the second fastest growth rate for the month. Cebu Pacific’s operations in Japan likewise brought in Japanese tourists to the Philippines.
Cebu Pacific said it wishes to stimulate this market further by adding Tokyo (Haneda) as another route.
It noted that as early as September 2013, Cebu Pacific had indicated its willingness to operate the Manila-Haneda, vice-versa route.
“Unfortunately, this Honorable Board in its Ad Referendum [resolution]No. 04 (2013) dated October 1, 2013 granted all 14 Haneda frequencies to Philippine Airlines (PAL),” Cebu Pacific said in its letter to the CAB.
However, PAL has failed to fully utilize its Haneda frequencies, hence, on June 13, 2014, Cebu Pacific filed a petition for the reallocation of PAL’s unutilized entitlements for the Manila-Haneda, vice-versa route.
During a hearing on September 1, 2014, PAL manifested that they will resume operating the unutilized entitlements. Thus, Cebu Pacific moved that its petition be archived in the meantime. Since PAL failed to operate the entitlements, Cebu Pacific filed a motion to revive its petition on November 6, 2014.
On February 23, 2015, during its regular Board Meeting, the CAB Board denied Cebu Pacific’s petition for reallocation, but warned PAL that it should use its entitlements.”
“Summer Schedule 2015 has commenced in March 2015, and yet PAL still has not fully utilized the entitlements, contrary to its earlier pronouncements. It must be stressed that to date, two of PAL’s 14 entitlements on the Haneda route remains unutilized,” Cebu Pacific said.
“In view of this, Cebu Pacific respectfully requests for the reallocation two weekly frequencies on route Manila-Haneda-Manila. Cebu Pacific is confident that it will be able to further serve the Japan market not only for the benefit of the numerous OFWs [overseas Filipino workers]based in Japan, but also to bring more tourists from Japan to the Philippine and vice versa,” it said.
Cebu Pacific said it is capable and willing to operate the Haneda route as early as Winter Schedule 2015 provided the requested entitlements are granted.
The request was undersigned by Mary Rose Grace Donato-Lim, manager external affairs of Cebu Pacific.