PAL, Cebu Pacific seek new routes to more countries

By Lawrence Agcaoili, The Philippine Star

Posted at Mar 19 2013 08:34 AM | Updated as of Mar 19 2013 04:50 PM

MANILA, Philippines - National flag carrier Philippine Airlines (PAL) and budget airline Cebu Air Inc. (Cebu Pacific) are mounting additional international flights as they await the lifting of the ban on domestic airlines to mount additional flights to the US and Europe.

Cebu Pacific has asked the Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) for the green light to fly to Papua New Guinea and Macau.

The airline is applying for 440 seat entitlements for thrice a week flights between Manila and Macau using Airbus A320 aircraft in accordance with the Confidential Memorandum of Understanding signed by the two parties.

The budget airline also asked CAB to re-allocate 300 seat entitlements to Papua New Guinea previously awarded to PAL.

Likewise, Cebu Pacific has filed an application with the CAB for designation as official Philippine carrier to India in accordance to the existing Confidential Memorandum of Understanding entered into last July 2005.

Cebu Pacific vice president for marketing and distribution Candice Iyog said in a statement that the airline launched its maiden flight between Manila and Bali (Denpasar), Indonesia last Saturday in time for peak summer travel.

“Bali is now a convenient and affordable option for leisure travelers, honeymooners, groups of friends or families. Cebu Pacific also aims to tap foreign tourists in Bali who wish to make the most of their holidays, by adding fun Philippines to their travel itineraries,” Iyog said.

Bali (Denpasar) is Cebu Pacific’s 20th international destination and the second in Indonesia.

In the Philippines, the airline offers the most extensive domestic network of 34 destinations and 62 routes. Aside from Bali (Denpasar), it offers 20 other international destinations, including Osaka, Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong and Seoul.

On the other hand, PAL has asked the CAB to reallocate one frequency unutilized entitlement to Doha, Qatar.

Last March 6, PAL launched six new destinations including Kuala Lumpur (May 1); Brisbane, Darwin and Perth in Australia and Guangzhou, China (June 1); and Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (Oct. 1) brining to 34 its total number of international destinations (including Manila).

PAL president and chief operating officer Ramon S. Ang earlier said the airline is likely to return to profitability in 2014 after cutting by half its losses this year with its ongoing re-fleeting program involving the acquisition of 100 new aircraft.