Cebu Pacific seeks to utilize Hong Kong seat entitlements of PAL

By Lorenz S. Marasigan, BusinessMirror

Posted at Jun 18 2014 07:24 AM | Updated as of Jun 18 2014 10:42 PM

MANILA - The largest low-cost carrier in the country plans to expand its operations to Hong Kong pending the approval of its petition for more frequencies in the Chinese territory before the air-services regulator.

In a filing at the Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB), Cebu Pacific said it is requesting for the reallocation of the 1,240 unutilized seat entitlements for the Cebu-Hong Kong route previously allocated to Philippine Airlines (PAL) Express.

“Cebu Pacific filed for a reallocation of entitlements for the Cebu-Hong Kong route. Cebu Pacific is fully utilizing rights to operate the route. We are looking to expand our operations in Hong Kong,” Cebu Pacific Vice President for Corporate Affairs Jorenz T. Tañada told the BusinessMirror in a text message.

He added, “PAL Express has been allocated 1,240 seats, but has not used them since assignment. As the only Philippine carrier operating this route at this time, we hope that a reallocation can be considered.”

The petition is set to be heard on June 24 at the regulator’s headquarters in Pasay City.

Earlier, CAB Executive Director Carmelo L. Arcilla said the Philippine air panel will pursue negotiations for an expanded air pact with Hong Kong.

Civil-aviation regulators of the country have successfully expanded several air pacts with neighboring countries this year.

The Gokongwei-led airline currently operates over 2,200 flights per week with 49 aircraft to 24 international and 33 Philippine cities.

Cebu Pacific’s 52-strong fleet is comprised of 10 Airbus A319, 30 Airbus A320, four Airbus A330 and eight ATR-72 500 aircraft.

Between 2014 and 2021, the airline will take delivery of 11 more brand-new Airbus A320, 30 Airbus A321neo and 2 Airbus A330 aircraft.