Aug 17, 2017

Cebu Pacific Expands Route Network, Adds New International Destination

Aviation Updates Philippines - The Philippines' leading airline, Cebu Pacific (PSE: CEB), expands its domestic route network and presence in Southeast Asia as it announces four new routes aimed at improving accessibility for travellers outside Metro Manila, but more so increasing connectivity within the region.
EXPANDS ROUTE NETWORK. Cebu Pacific, through its subsidiary Cebgo, is expanding its network in Mindanao with new flights from Cagayan de Oro to Dumaguete and Caticlan, and flights to Sandakan via Zamboanga. The mainline will also launch new flights between Clark and Kalibo. Photo by Dirk Salcedo - PPSG/AUP.
Cebu Pacific announced it would begin operations of a thrice-a-week Kalibo-Clark flight (Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays) on October 30, 2017, linking Western Visayas, including the world-class Boracay Island, to tourists from North and Central Luzon, as well as foreigners via the Clark International Airport. The return Clark-Kalibo flight, on the other hand, begins on October 31, 2017 (Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays).

The carrier's wholly-owned subsidiary, Cebgo, will boost its presence in Northern Mindanao, through the Cagayan de Oro (Laguindingan) Airport, with new inter-island connections. Starting October 20, 2017, Cebgo will fly from Cagayan de Oro to Boracay (Caticlan); and to Dumaguete three times a week.

On top of these new domestic routes, Cebgo will also operate its first international route out of Zamboanga with four times weekly flights (Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays, and Sundays) to Sandakan, Malaysia starting October 29, 2017. Cebgo is currently the only Philippine carrier with a direct service between the country and Sandakan.

"Cebu Pacific is very pleased to continue being a travel enabler to everyJuan as we further establish seamless connections not only within the archipelago, but to the rest of Southeast Asia. Sandakan has had centuries of trade and cultural linkage with the southern Philippines, and we are especially proud to put in place infrastructure to further enhance these ties. Now, the previous 14-hour travel by sea is cut down to just a 40-minute airplane ride," said Alexander Lao, President and CEO of Cebgo.

The new Sandakan route under the Cebu Pacific network supports the drive for seamless logistics connectivity within the Brunei-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines East Asia Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA). Trade and Investment Assistant Secretary Art Boncato, Jr., Outgoing Senior Official of the Philippines to BIMP-EAGA, noted that with connectivity being a major pillar in the development of BIMP-EAGA, "The new route would offer better service to the traveling public and open greater opportunities for trade, investment, and tourism with Western Mindanao as a growing regional gateway to the Philippines."

Created in 1994, BIMP-EAGA comprises the entire Borneo Island –which is divided between Brunei, Indonesia and Malaysia; Mindanao; and other Indonesian Provinces such as Sulawesi and Maluku. It was meant to harness capabilities to turn the entire area into a thriving economic and tourism center.

"The opening of this air route is a clear manifestation that with strong private and public partnership, we can truly make things happen as one BIMP-EAGA family. We are already seeing this route to complement the proposed Tawi-Tawi Special Economic and Freeport Zone Development efforts, given that Sandakan is one of Mindanao's direct links to a larger EAGA economy," added Datu HJ Abul Khayr Alonto, Chairman of the Mindanao Development Authority.

"The Department of Tourism welcomes the initiatives of Cebu Pacific to open more routes in the region. This will contribute to the attractiveness of Mindanao as a destination and go a long way in promoting BIMP-EAGA tourism activities," said Tourism Undersecretary Alma Rita Jimenez.

To mark the start of the new domestic routes, Cebu Pacific is having an introductory, all-in seat sale of PHP599 until August 18, 2017, or while seats are available. Travel period is from October 20, 2017 to March 15, 2018. Flights from Zamboanga to Sandakan will also be on sale at PHP1, 299 until August 21, 2017, available for travel from October 29, 2017 to December 31, 2017.

The Cebu Pacific route network is now comprised of 27 international and 37 domestic destinations. Its fleet of aircraft is comprised of three Airbus A319, 36 Airbus A320 and eight Airbus A330; while the Cebgo fleet is composed of eight ATR 72-500, and six ATR 72-600 aircraft.

About Cebu Air Inc. (PSE: CEB)

Cebu Air Inc. is the largest carrier in the Philippine air transportation industry, offering its low-cost services to more destinations and routes with higher flight frequency within the Philippines than any other airline.

For bookings and inquiries, guests can visit www.cebupacificair.com or call the reservation hotlines (+632)7020-888 or (+6332)230-8888. The latest seat sales can be found on CEB's official Twitter (@CebuPacificAir) and Facebook pages.

Guests may also download the Cebu Pacific official mobile app on the App Store and Google Play.
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Aug 15, 2017

NAIA Terminal Fee Exemption Available Across All CEB Booking Systems

Aviation Updates Philippines - The Philippines' leading airline, Cebu Pacific (PSE: CEB), has updated all its booking systems to ensure that passengers who are exempt from the International Passenger Service Charge (IPSC), or the Terminal Fee, at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) can avail of this regardless of how they book their flights on Cebu Pacific. The move is seen to benefit thousands of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) who book flights on Cebu Pacific to get to their job sites.
TERMINAL FEE EXEMPTION. OFWs will be able to avail the terminal fee exemption on all flights of Cebu Pacific across all systems. Photo by Dirk Salcedo - PPSG.
Since July 8, 2017, passengers who book their flights through the Cebu Pacific mobile app have been able to claim the NAIA Terminal Fee exemption by simply ticking a box before booking and payment is processed and confirmed. Bookings made through the Cebu Pacific Reservation Hotlines or via the website, www.cebupacificair.com on the other hand, have been exempted from paying the P550.00 NAIA Terminal Fee since April this year.

Passengers need to present valid documents upon check-in to verify their eligibility for the IPSC exemption. For OFWs, these include the the Overseas Employment Certificate (OEC); and those included under the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration's Balik Manggagawa program such as a valid employment contract, recent payslip, or Company ID. Aside from OFWs, pilgrims with authorization from the Philippine Sports Commission, and guests who have been issued a MIAA exemption certificate (MEC) are also exempted from paying the IPSC, provided valid documents are presented.

"Through these system upgrades, we hope to make it easier and more convenient for our OFWs to book flights with Cebu Pacific; and not have to go through a tedious and time-consuming process of reimbursing the NAIA Terminal Fee that they have been long-exempted from under the Migrant Workers Act," said Atty. JR Mantaring, Vice President for Corporate Affairs of Cebu Pacific.

Cebu Pacific passengers also have the option to pay for the Travel Tax on international flights of PHP1,620.00 when they book their flights online via www.cebupacificair.com, or through any Cebu Pacific ticket office. Passengers who are exempt from the tax, or are eligible for reduced Travel Tax, on the other hand, can still book, pay and confirm their flights on Cebu Pacific, but they need to present valid tax exemption documents upon check-in.

About Cebu Air Inc. (PSE: CEB)

Cebu Air Inc. is the largest carrier in the Philippine air transportation industry, offering its low-cost services to more destinations and routes with higher flight frequency within the Philippines than any other airline. CEB currently offers flights to a total of 37 domestic and 26 international destinations, operating an extensive network across Asia, Australia, the Middle East, and USA.

For bookings and inquiries, guests can visit www.cebupacificair.com or call the reservation hotlines (+632) 7020-888 or (+6332)230-8888. The latest seat sales can be found on CEB's official Twitter (@CebuPacificAir) and Facebook (www.facebook.com/cebupacificair) pages.

Guests may also download the Cebu Pacific official mobile app on the App Store and Google Play.
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Aug 6, 2017

Philippines AirAsia to Launch Flights to Iloilo

Aviation Updates Philippines - Low-cost airline Philippines AirAsia, is set to launch direct flights between Manila and Iloilo starting October 1, 2017. The airline will be operating three daily flights to Iloilo using its 180-seat Airbus A320-200 aircraft.
VISAYAS NETWORK EXPANSION. Philippines AirAsia is expanding its presence in Visayas as it launches more flights. Photo by Dirk Andrei Salcedo - PPSG. 
“The addition of Manila–Iloilo route will further expand our domestic footprint in the Visayas region following our expansion in Cebu via the launch of international and domestic flights,” Philippines AirAsia Chief Executive Officer Dexter Comendador said.

“AirAsia’s signature low fares, superb service and seamless connectivity here in the country and across Asean including China, Australia, India and much more will facilitate travel aspirations of our guests from Western Visayas through Iloilo’s modern airport and help stimulate demand for travel and tourism,” he added.

The airline is offering promo fares for as low as Php 999 until August 27 with travel period from October 1, 2017 to August 28, 2018.

Philippines AirAsia has been expanding its route network in the Visayas region. Last summer, the airline launched flights from Cebu to Davao, Boracay, and Palawan. Flights from Cebu to Taipei and Singapore were launched last year as well. 
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Aug 5, 2017

MCIA Closes After Cebu Pacific Incident

Aviation Updates Philippines - An Airbus A330-300 aircraft of Cebu Pacific Air, operating as flight 570 to Manila, was taxiing for departure to Runway 22 when the aircraft's nose wheel went off the edge of the runway at the Mactan-Cebu International Airport.
NOSE WHEEL STUCK. Cebu Pacific's Airbus A330-343E RP-C3341 was stuck in soft ground when it made a 180-degree turn at runway 22 in Mactan. Photo by Gerard Montejo - PPSG.
According to social media updates by the low-cost carrier, the aircraft was carrying 435 passengers and three infants when it was preparing for take-off at about 6:54 PM local time. The aircraft involved, RP-C3341, is still grounded in Cebu pending investigation and inspection for possible minor damages.

The Aviation Herald, an aviation news website, stated that the aircraft "entered the runway at taxiway D to backtrack runway 22, then turned around to line up for departure". At that time, Runway 22's threshold was displaced by 710 meters due to work in progress.

Fortunately, none of the passengers were injured due to the incident. The airline assured passengers were given meals, refreshments, and travel vouchers. They were rebooked on new flights, with the last passengers leaving Cebu at 4 AM local time.

“We have been coordinating with airport authorities since the incident occurred Friday night. We are also coordinating and cooperating with the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines for an investigation regarding the incident, as we take the safety of our passengers very seriously,” Cebu Pacific said in an advisory.

Due to the incident, airport operations were disrupted. It caused several delays which greatly affected airline operations. Flights have been diverted to nearby airports, in Bacolod and Iloilo. The airport reopened at 10:25 PM local time.

Cebu Pacific has sincerely apologized for the incident stating: "our apologies for the inconvenience this incident has caused."
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Aug 2, 2017

PHOTOS: PAL Q400 First Commercial Flight

Aviation Updates Philippines - The country's flag carrier Philippine Airlines' (PAL) inaugurated the flight of its brand-new Bombardier Q400 turboprop on the Cebu-Caticlan-Clark route.
The next-generation, two-class Q400 from the Canada-based Bombardier has a seating capacity of 86, including six Premium Economy seats, and-will be utilized to expand PAL's domestic network using operational hubs in Manila, Cebu, and Clark, PAL said in a statement August 1.
The new Bombardier Q400 turboprop is the first of 12 such aircraft PAL is acquiring, the airline said.
The newly delivered Q400 is the first of five that the airline will receive before December 2017, with seven more for delivery before end of 2019, it added.

By end-2017, PAL will utilize the propeller-driven Q400 and Q300 on seven domestic routes out of Clark and 12 out of Cebu.

PAL said it is the first airline in the Philippines to use the next-generation Q400 which has larger overhead bins, new seats and LED lighting. It will offer passengers full service even on short flights, it added.

PAL flies its fleet of turboprops to 14 destinations across the nation and will soon operate this aircraft in flights to Zamboanga and Jolo.
SOURCE: CNN Philippines PHOTOS: Philippine Airlines
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AirAsia launches Davao-KL flights

Aviation Updates Philippines - AirAsia, the world’s best low-cost airline, has linked Davao City to its international hub with the launch of its latest route to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
NEW CONNECTIONS. Malaysia-based AirAsia is introducing flights between Davao and Kuala Lumpur starting December 21, 2017. Photo by Dennis HKG - Flickr
The four times weekly direct flights from Davao to Kuala Lumpur will start on December 21, 2017, said AirAsia Group CEO Tony Fernandes during the Davao Investment Conference.

Fernandes said the new route will cater to SME businessmen, migrant workers and tourists. The new route marks as the fourth direct route from the Philippines to Malaysia after Manila, Cebu and Kalibo.

Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio said, “Our aim for the (Davao) city is to grow it to become a hub for financial, tourism, service and education in Mindanao. The introduction of the direct flights between Kuala Lumpur and Davao could not be more timely and is a key step in this direction to empower local players across various economic activities.”

Fernandes said “Davao has a special place in my heart. It was one of the first cities we flew to when we started our Philippine operations in 2012.”

“Since then, we have worked to strengthen our network in Davao. In this year alone, we have launched new flights from Davao to Cebu, Palawan and Boracay, and enabled Fly-Thru via Cebu to international destinations such as Singapore, Taipei and Seoul,” he added.

Fernandes noted that, “Davao has the potential to be the international gateway for ASEAN to the southern Philippines, beginning with this new route to Kuala Lumpur.”

To celebrate the new route, AirAsia announced all-in-fares from as low as R99* one-way are available for booking from July 21, 2017 until July 30, 2017 for the travel period from December 22, 2017 to August 28, 2018.

Meanwhile, Philippines AirAsia President Dexter Comendador said they are developing Davao to be a new hub for the airline and are planning to add more international destinations, particularly in the BIMP-EAGA (Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines-East Asia Growth Area).

Comendador noted that travellers flying to BIMP-EAGA are exempted from paying travel taxes and this will be a good incentive for them to use the Davao hub.

Aside from Davao, AirAsia is also developing Puerto Princesa, Palawan and Panglao, Bohol as new hubs for the airline by next year.
SOURCE: James A. Loyola - Manila Bulletin
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