By: Paolo G. Montecillo
Budget Carrier Cebu Pacific has reached another milestone after flying over 1.1 million passengers last May, the most in a month by an airline.
In a statement, the Gokongwei-led firm said the company had also achieved a record-high load factor – or the number of seats filled relative to the available space – of 91 percent for the month as more Filipinos traveled during the summer school break.
The airline flew 1.11 million passengers on its 16 international and 33 domestic destinations from May 1 to 31, 2011. This translates to a 16 percent year-on-year growth.
“Cebu Pacific, as a homegrown carrier and the low-fare pioneer in the Philippines, is proud to be a major contributor to the strong aviation market in the country,” said Cebu Pacific vice president for marketing and distribution Candice Iyog.
“It continues to give a lot of passengers more opportunities for air travel, with its increased flight frequencies and additional 4 Airbus A320 aircraft deliveries in the second half of this year,” she added.
By the end of 2011, CEB will be operating a fleet of 37 aircraft – with an average age of less than 3.5 years – one of the most modern aircraft fleets in the world.
Between 2012 and 2014, Cebu Pacific will take delivery of an additional 16 brand-new Airbus A320 aircraft.
Cebu Pacific said low plane fares, which it pioneered in the country, have helped grow the country’s air travel market into the most vibrant in the region.
A Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation article last May showed the Philippines’ seat capacity for both international and domestic destinations is within 34,000 weekly seats of overtaking Hong Kong, which is the eighth biggest aviation market in the region.
The top five with the largest weekly seat capacity to Asia are China, Japan, India, Indonesia and South Korea, Center for Asia Pacific Aviation said.
“We remain committed to working closely with the relevant government agencies to boost the Philippines as one of the busiest airports in Asia,” the company said.
The airline currently operates over 270 flights daily, and 52 domestic and 24 international routes from hubs in Manila, Cebu, Davao and Clark. It flew almost 10.5 million passengers in 2010, exceeding targets with a 19 percent increase over 2009. Its international passengers also grew by 38 percent in 2010.
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