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Cebu Pacific eyes AirAsia’s seat entitlements to China

Cebu Pacific  has asked the Civil Aeronautics Board to reallocate the unused seat entitlements to China previously granted to rival AirAsia Zest.

Cebu Air Inc., operator of Cebu Pacific, in a filing with the CAB, requested the reallocation of 1,260 unused seat entitlements allocated to AirAsia Zest following a confidential memorandum of understanding between the Philippines and China.

Of the total seat entitlements, 720 seats would be used for Manila to Guangzhou and the remaining 540 seats for Manila to Beijing.

Cebu Pacific earlier announced it would mount direct flights from Manila to Fukuoka, Japan; from Cebu to Taipei, Taiwan; and from Davao to Singapore starting Dec. 17.

“We look forward to seeing the ‘Cebu Pacific effect’ in the new routes we will operate. We’ve seen time and again how connectivity and CEB’s trademark low fares stimulated travel,” Cebu Pacific vice president for marketing and distribution Candice Iyog said.

Cebu Pacific said combined passenger traffic of Cebu Pacific and unit Cebgo reached 1.48 million in July, up from 1.33 million passengers recorded in the same period last year.

The July figure brought the total passengers in the first seven months of the year to 10.70 million, up 8.6 percent from last year’s 9.85 million.  The company targets 18 million passengers in 2015.

Its load factor, which pertains to number of seats occupied per flight,  fell by 1.6 percentage points to 79.2 percent in July from 80.8 percent last year. In the first seven months, load factor dropped 3.5 percentage points to 81.5 percent from 85 percent last year.

Cebu Pacific and Cebo recorded total flights of 78,843 in January to July, up 10.8 percent from 71,133 flights last year.

Cebu Air posted a net income of P5.2 billion in the January-June period, up from P3.18-billion profit recorded a year earlier.

Cebu Air generated revenues of P29.51 billion in the first six months of the year, up 10 percent from P26.72 billion last year.

The airline attributed the higher revenues to the 8.2-percent rise in passenger volume to 9.2 million from 8.5 million in 2014, driven by the increased number of flights in 2015.

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