MANILA, Philippines – Budget carrier Cebu Pacific will send its maiden flight to Hanoi from Manila on Saturday, making it the only Philippine airline operating the route.
The twice weekly service will depart Manila at 10:30 p.m. and arrive in Hanoi at 12:30 a.m Sunday. The return flight will leave Hanoi at 1 a.m., and arrive in Manila at 5 a.m.
Expected to be onboard the first flight are sisters of President Benigno Aquino, Vietnam’s ambassador to the Philippines Nguyen Vu Tu, and Cebu Pacific CEO Lance Gokongwei, among others.
“This inaugural flight marks a very important milestone for Cebu Pacific as we become the only airline to operate direct flights between Manila and Hanoi,” Gokongwei said.
“This reinforces our commitment to continue expanding CEB’s reach in the Asia-Pacific region, and promote air travel to destinations not previously easily accessible to our passengers.”
Philippine ambassador to Vietnam Jerril Santos congratulated the budget airline, saying he is “confident that the direct Manila-Hanoi route will spur further growth in tourist and business traffic” in the two countries.
Cebu Pacific will also launch more flights in the first half of 2012, including Manila-Xiamen and Kalibo-Hong Kong (March 23), and Manila-Siem Reap (April 19).
The airline currently flies to 33 domestic and 19 international destinations.
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