Cebu Pacific (CEB), the Philippines’ leading airline, is prepared to meet higher travel demand in 2022 with the addition of six new aircraft this year to its fleet and is confident that the aviation and tourism industries are on the way to further recovery and growth after the pandemic lockdowns grounded various business sectors.
CEB is receiving a total of six aircraft in 2021: two A321neo (new engine option), one A320neo, two A330neo, and one ATR 72-600.
The airline received on November 28 its first A330neo which paves the way for it to become the greenest airline in Asia. The airline’s newest aircraft features 459 lightweight Recaro seats which allows more travelers to be carried in a single flight, resulting in lowest carbon footprint per passenger, making CEB the greenest airline in Asia. With the A330neo’s latest technologies, this eco-plane consumes 25% less fuel than previous generation aircraft and is eco-efficient — able to consume as little as 1.4 liters per seat per 100 kilometers.
“We’ve already taken deliveries of the two A321neos, the A330 and the A320. Another A330neo, along with the ATR 72-600, are expected to arrive. We are among the few airlines in the world and the only one in the Philippines to take deliveries during a pandemic, which is a testament to CEB’s resilience, liquidity, and expected recovery as we enter 2022,” said Alex Reyes, Cebu Pacific’s Head of Strategy.
CEB, which is now operating above 60% of its pre-COVID domestic network and capacity, has been ramping up its domestic and international networks. It has added more flights to key domestic destinations, namely, Boracay, Bohol, Cebu, Cagayan de Oro, Davao, and General Santos, following the easing of travel restrictions.
This month, CEB has raised its daily flights from Manila to Boracay to eleven (11) times daily from nine (9) times daily. Operations between Cebu and Manila will increase to eleven (11) times daily from nine (9) times daily. Flights to Cagayan de Oro will ramp up to seven (7) times daily from five (5) times daily. Manila to Davao flights will go up to five (5) times daily from three (3) times daily in December.
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For international destinations, Cebu Pacific will also resume its operations to Fukuoka every Tuesday starting today, December 7; to Bangkok every Thursday and Saturday, starting Dec 11; and to Taiwan every Wednesday, starting December 15.
“We continue to rebuild our domestic and international network to support tourism growth in 2022 while continuing to promote safe and responsible travel. This is the only way to regain trust and confidence in travel, paving the way towards economic recovery,” said Candice Iyog, Vice President for Marketing and Customer Experience at Cebu Pacific.
The Philippines – famous for its diving destinations, beaches, and thousands of tropical islands – saw an 84% drop in foreign arrivals in 2020, receiving 1.32 million visitors, compared to 8.26 million in 2019. Japan, South Korea, and China are its biggest tourism markets.
Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat, who gave the closing remarks at the Cebu Pacific Stakeholder Event, expressed gratitude to the airline for being a partner of the Department of Tourism in inspiring Filipinos to travel locally amidst the pandemic.
“We, in the Department of Tourism, believe that our days of despair are over as we’ve seen many encouraging signs in the last few weeks. This includes the continually dropping COVID case numbers, easing of alert levels and restrictions on mobility, and even the lessening of quarantine days for fully vaccinated Filipinos returning from overseas,” Romulo-Puyat said.
“I would like to thank Cebu Pacific for being a staunch partner of the Department of Tourism. Your signature ‘Piso Fare’ promos have been a tremendous help to keeping Filipinos inspired to travel locally amidst the pandemic, which formed the backbone of our recovery strategy. And even before this crisis, 5J was a solid partner in promoting greater sustainability in our industry.”
CEB now operates with 100% vaccinated active flying crew. It has also been rated 7/7 stars by airlineratings.com for its COVID-19 compliance as it continues to implement a multi-layered approach to safety, in accordance with global aviation standards. These include daily extensive cleaning and disinfection protocols for all aircraft and facilities, antigen testing before duty for all frontliners and crew members, and contactless flight procedures. Its jet fleet is equipped with hospital grade HEPA (High Efficiency Particular Arrestor) air filters, keeping viruses at bay.
CEB operates the widest domestic network in the Philippines covering 33 destinations on top of its 12 international destinations, and has one of the youngest fleets in the world, with 74 aircraft and an average fleet age of 5.94 years as of December 1, 2021.