MANILA, Philippines - Budget carrier Cebu Pacific said Thursday it flew 11.94 million passengers last year, narrowly missing its target but exceeding the previous year's total passenger count by 14%.
Cebu Pacific, owned by the Gokongwei group, had previously set a goal of flying 12 million passengers in 2011.
In a statement, it said the 2011 passenger tally was up 14% from 2010's 10.5 million. The growth was mainly driven by the increase in its international passengers.
Cebu Pacific said it carried 2.72 million international passengers last year, up 22% year on year, as it added flights to major regional destinations -- Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur, Brunei, Singapore, Ho Chi Minh, Seoul and Bangkok.
On the other hand, it flew 9.22 million domestic passengers, 12% higher than the 8.23 million recorded in 2010.
"CEB attributes these increases to capacity additions to key destinations, lower fares due to the unbundling of baggage allowance, and the arrival of five brand-new Airbus A320 aircraft in 2011," it said.
"CEB was able to add 13% more seat capacity in 2011, and this translates to more flights for passengers and the continuous expansion of the airline within the Philippines and Asia," added CEB VP for Marketing and Distribution Candice Iyog.
This year, Cebu Pacific is eyeing to carry 14 million passengers, with the airline set to open new routes in March.
Cebu Pacific will start its Manila-Hanoi service on March 17, making it the only airline in the Philippines to operate the route.
It will also reopen its Manila-Xiamen flights, and begin its first international flight from the Kalibo airport on March 23. Cebu Pacific is flying to Hong Kong from Kalibo, the international gateway to the world-famous Boracay Island.