CAPA Analysis: Cebu Pacific To Expand Operations in China

The Center for Asia Pacific Aviation (CAPA), one of the world’s leading aviation think-tanks, said in a recent report that Cebu Pacific (5J) is expected to expand operations in China with the expected delivery of its brand new A321NEO that will allow the low cost carrier to open new routes and grow capacity. 

Image result for Cebu Pacific A321
Cebu Pacific ordered 32 Airbus 321NEOs

“Cebu Pacific is particularly keen to use the A321neo to open new routes deeper into China,” CAPA said in its report, noting that the aircrafts will also support plans for its North Asia expansion. Currently 5J has 17 weekly flights to four destinations in China.

“However, it is keen to add new flights to China, both scheduled and charters, in line with expected further rapid growth in the China-Philippines market,” it added.

Based on CAPA analysis, visitor numbers from China grew by approximately 20% in 2016, as China overtook Japan to become the country’s third largest source market for the Philippines. Aside from China, Cebu Pacific is also considering opening a branch office in Japan to help support future capacity growth in both markets.

“Cebu Pacific has expanded in Japan in recent years, adding three destinations for a total of four, and will likely use the A321neo to add capacity and new destinations,” it said in its report.

CAPA said Japan is now Cebu Pacific’s third largest international market after Hong Kong and Singapore, while South Korea is its fourth largest international market.

Cebu Pacific ended 2016 with a fleet of 57 aircraft — up only two from the beginning of the year. Cebu Pacific’s fleet was flat at 47 aircraft, while its turboprop subsidiary Cebgo expanded its fleet from eight to 10 aircraft.

Cebgo flies to Masbate and Tablas

Image result for masbate airport

Cebgo, a subsidiary of Cebu Pacific Air, will launch daily flights from MNL to Masbate and 4x/week to Tablas starting 15 February 2016 using the brand new ATR 72-600.

“The addition of these new routes will allow our passengers to easily visit these fast-rising areas in Luzon, both known for its white-sand beaches, waterfalls and diving spots.”

“We remain firm in bringing people together through safe, affordable, reliable, and fun-filled air travel. With these additional routes, travelers will now be able to visit these destinations faster while enjoying CEB’s trademark low fares. Rest assured, we will continue expanding our network to reach more passengers in and out the Philippines,” says Alexander Lao, Cebgo President and CEO.

Cargo services will also be made available in these areas together with passenger services.


2 More A330-300s for Cebu Pacific

The Philippines’ largest budget airline, Cebu Air Inc, is looking to acquire two more Airbus 330 aircraft, company president Lance Gokongwei said.

“That is under consideration because we’re looking to fly to additional routes particularly Honolulu or increasing potential flights to the Middle East,” Gokongwei told reporters.

The budget carrier, which had 55 aircraft, mostly Airbus jets, as of end-December, expects to beef up its fleet to 69 planes by end-2018.

Asian budget carriers have been placing big orders for jets from Airbus and Boeing Co to take advantage of a regional travel boom.

Last month, eight Asian low-cost carriers, including Cebu Air Inc’s Cebu Pacific, set up an alliance allowing travelers to book flights across their platforms for the first time, aiming to reach more customers outside their home markets.



33rd Brand New A320 for Cebu Pacific

Image Source: Ajig Ibasco

The Philippines’ leading carrier, Cebu Pacific (PSE: CEB), took delivery of its 33rd brand-new Airbus A320 aircraft on October 11, 2015. This is the airline’s last aircraft delivery for the year.

Image Source: Cebu Pacific

Delivered straight from the Airbus factory in Toulouse, France, the brand-new A320 is CEB’s fourteenth aircraft that comes equipped with Sharklets. Sharklets are 2.4 meter wingtip devices that enable lesser fuel burn and lower emissions.

CEB’s aircraft fleet’s average age is 4.68 years, one of the youngest in the world. Between 2016 and 2021, CEB will take delivery of 5 more brand-new Airbus A320, 30 Airbus A321neo, and 16 ATR 72-600 aircraft.

“Our brand-new planes are a testament to our commitment in meeting the growing travel demand in the markets we serve, and expanding our services both here and abroad,” said Atty. JR Mantaring, CEB Officer-in-Charge for Corporate Affairs.


Cebu Pacific Receives 32nd Airbus A320

NEW AIRCRAFT. This is the 3rd of 4 Airbus A320 aircraft that the airline is set to receive this year, Cebu Pacific announces on Monday, September 28, 2015. Photo from Ajig Ibasco / Cebu Pacific
NEW AIRCRAFT. This is the 3rd of 4 Airbus A320 aircraft that the airline is set to receive this year, Cebu Pacific announces on Monday, September 28, 2015. Photo from Ajig Ibasco / Cebu Pacific

Next stop: Honolulu

While Cebu Pacific is in a middle of a $4 billion refleeting program, the country’s largest budget airline also eyes new destinations, and considers Honolulu, Hawaii for its next route early 2016.

Speaking on the sidelines of the 2015 Philippine Aviation Summit on September 25, Cebu Pacific CEO Lance Gokongwei said flying to Honolulu is a good move considering the large number of Filipinos living there.

“Using Manila as a hub, probably a lot of North Asian countries can connect to Manila with direct flights from Honolulu,” he said.

Apart from Honolulu, Cebu Pacific is also allowed to fly to Guam, Saipan, San Francisco, and Los Angeles, following the country’s upgraded aviation rating to Category 1 by the US Federal Aviation Authority in April 2014.

Gokongwei added that Cebu Pacific might also increase its flights to Australia. Currently, the staunch rival of legacy carrier Philippine Airlines is already flying to Sydney.

In April 2015, the Center for Aviation noted that Honolulu, Hawaii and Melbourne, Australia would be Cebu Pacific’s 6th and 7th long-haul destination, joining 4 in the Middle East and Sydney.

Targeting 18 million for passenger volume this year, Cebu Pacific is also solidifying its place in the region, competing with the likes of Malaysia’s AirAsia Berhad.

On September 21, the airline announced that it bagged the approval of the Singapore government to enter into a strategic alliance with Tigerair, a unit of Singapore Airlines Ltd.

“Cebu Pacific’s passengers, particularly from the Philippines, will be able to enjoy seamless connections onto Tigerair’s established network in Southeast Asia and India. Tigerair’s customers, on the other hand, will be able to select from Cebu Pacific’s extensive network in the Philippines and North Asia,” the statement read.

Source: Lynda C. Corpuz /