The Philippines' leading carrier, Cebu Pacific Air (PSE: CEB), boosts its domestic network by increasing the capacity of its flights from Manila to areas in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao where strong demand is continually seen.
Starting July 4, 2017, flights from Manila to Cauayan, Legazpi and Virac, and vice versa, will be utilizing the 180-seater Airbus A320, translating to over 130% more capacity or about 102 additional seats, from its original 78-seater ATR 72-600. CEB is the only carrier with a regular, commercial air service in Cauayan, Isabela and Virac, Catanduanes.
The freed-up ATR aircraft from these three routes will then be used to service five new inter-island routes Cebgo recently announced, namely: Cebu-Masbate; Cagayan de Oro-Zamboanga; Davao-Dumaguete; Davao-Tacloban; and Cotabato-Zamboanga. The five new routes are set to commence operations late next month.
"Utilizing larger aircraft will not only help meet demand for passenger air travel and logistics to move cargo across the country, but also allow more travellers to avail our year-round lowest fares," said Atty JR Mantaring, Cebu Pacific Vice President for Corporate Affairs.
On top of the aircraft upgrade from ATR to Airbus jet service, CEB will also hike frequency of some flights between Manila, the Visayas and Mindanao by July 4, 2017.
From 55 flights weekly, an additional ten flights would be mounted between Manila and Iloilo; while the Manila-Bacolod route would have six more flights, bringing the total to 54 a week. The additional flights to and from Iloilo and Bacolod would bring CEB capacity over 5,700 seats.
In Mindanao, eight additional weekly flights will be available between Manila and Cagayan de Oro, bringing the current 55 trips per week to 63. That will translate to over 2,800 more seats for flights to and from Manila and Northern Mindanao.
"The capacity expansion will mean more flights and more travel options for everyJuan. We are optimistic that this will make air travel more affordable and more accessible to a greater number of travellers," added Mantaring.
Last week, CEB announced it would shift to the 436-seater Airbus A330 for its Cebu, Davao and Hong Kong routes, also by July 4, 2017, resulting in 59% more capacity for each flight. The airline currently offers flights to a total of 37 domestic and 26 international destinations, operating over 100 routes spanning across Asia, Australia, the Middle East, and USA.