Cebu Pacific: We’re fully back

MAKATI — Budget carrier Cebu Pacific (CEB) announced Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2023, that it has restored 100 percent of its pre-pandemic capacity and the destinations it flies to.

“We are back. It is so good to be back… We have restored 34 of our 34 domestic flights and 25 of our 25 international flights,” said Candice Iyog, CEB chief marketing and customer experience officer, during a press conference at the Ayala Musuem in Makati City.

“International flights were harder to recover and it took us some time but now, we can see relaxing traveling requirements… We can say that we expect to see significant growth coming from our international network in 2023,” she said.

CEB said it will fully restore its flights to all its 25 international destinations in 14 countries by March 2023. The recovery will be aided by its unbeatable seat sales, widest domestic network, and reinstatement of all its international destinations on top of the easing of travel requirements in most countries.

No more travel requirements are required in Bangkok and Taiwan; no more tests are required prior to travel in South Korea, Japan and Australia; and no more quarantine requirement going to Hong Kong, Macau and China.

“As we emerge out of the pandemic, Cebu Pacific is on its way to full recovery and profitability this 2023,” said Alexander Lao, CEB’s president and chief commercial officer.

Lao said CEB flights are now averaging a little over 350 per day which is pretty close to its pre-pandemic level of 380 to 420 flights per day.

“Domestic capacity exceeded the resumption of the pre-pandemic level while almost all of our international destinations have reopened,” he said.

In 2022, CEB flew closely to 15 million passengers compared to 3.3 million passengers in 2021. The year 2022, Iyog described, was the year the company “cautiously but at the same time optimistically rebuilt its network.”

Asked if there would be new destinations the airline would fly to this year, Iyog said the company’s priority for the year is to restore all of the flights and possibly link the routes they fly to domestically.

“Our priority is to bring back all the flights we have suspended,” she said.

To address the surge in travel demand the Gokongwei-backed airline will receive 10 brand new planes in 2023: three A320neo, three A321neo and four A330neo.

This will hopefully help maintain the affordability of flights amid the rising fuel costs and the global call on reducing carbon emissions.

CEB is offering a special seat sale from Jan. 27 to 31, 2023, allowing Filipinos to fly internationally for as low as P499 one-way base fare. Select domestic destinations are on sale too, all with a travel period of June 1 to Nov. 30, 2023.