MANILA, Philippines - Budget carrier Cebu Pacific is set to launch long-haul flights to United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia by the second half of 2013, Bloomberg reported quoting the company's president Lance Gokongwei.
In an interview with Bloomberg, Gokongwei said the airline is planning to corner 25% of the P50-billion Philippine-Middle East market by 2015.
No Philippine carriers are currently plying the Middle East routes.
Cebu Pacific will be up against Emirates Airlines, which is the only airline with direct flights from Dubai to Manila. Emirates is adding an additional flight from Dubai to Manila in January 2013. It currently flies twice daily non-stop between Manila and Dubai.
Cebu Pacific is planning to lease up to 8 Airbus A330-300 aircraft to serve new markets beyond the range of its current fleet of Airbus A320 aircraft. It had earlier mentioned international destinations such as Australia, Middle East, Hawaii and Guam as potential long-haul routes.