Cebu Pacific is the biggest domestic carrier

February 10, 2009

MANILA, Philippines- Civil Aeronautics Board declared the Gokongwei led Cebu Pacific as the biggest domestic carrier in the Philippines flying 5.4-million domestic passengers in 2008.

The airline carried half a million passengers more than the combined traffic of both Philippine Airlines and its low-fare carrier PAL Express at 4.9 million passengers. Air Philippines carried 913,570; Zest Air, formerly known as Asian Spirit had 374,145 passengers; and Seair flew 217,885 passengers, respectively.

Cebu Pacific had a 45.6-percent market share last year which is better by 2.6-percentage points from the previous year’s 42.9 percent made in 2007. Airline CEO, Lance Gokongwei, previously declared that they intended to fly 6 million passengers for 2008. Philippine Airlines counter offer to the passengers made that projection almost impossible to met.

Candice Iyog, Cebu Pacific vice president for marketing and distribution, said her company expects to continue expansion as it takes delivery of six more aircraft this year, with three Airbus A320 and three ATR 72-500. The airline took delivery of 10 brand-new aircraft in 2008, which were used to fly to new domestic and international destinations, as well as adding frequencies to existing routes. It also opened operational hubs in Clark and Davao.

The airline increased its total number of domestic destinations to 27 in 2008 from 20 in 2007 and it also added routes from 28 in 2007 to 39 in 2008. Cebu Pacific hopes to carry more than 9 million passengers with the arrival of six brand-new aircraft this year.

The airline has the youngest aircraft fleet in the Philippines and it flies to 15 international cities and 27 domestic destinations.

The CAB earlier projected that the domestic air travel would expand between 8 percent and 11 percent this year.

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