Cebu Pacific Pushing for More Rights into Australia

The airline is lobbying for an increase in air traffic rights which will give it the option of daily flights to Sydney and Melbourne as well as servicing Brisbane and Perth.

Philippines low-cost carrier, Cebu Pacific has said it is keen on expanding its operations in Australia on the back of growing passenger traffic.

The airline is lobbying for an increase in air traffic rights which will give it the option of daily flights to Sydney and Melbourne as well as servicing Brisbane and Perth.

Cebu started flying between Sydney and Manila last September, four-times-weekly using Airbus A330 aircraft, and has since added a seasonal fifth flight.

"In the first four months of operations, Cabu Pacific's low fares and direct, non-stop services significantly stimulated inbound traffic into the Philippines and Australia. We look forward to expanding our services and further growing inbound tourism into our countries," said Alex Reyes, General Manager, Long Haul Division, Cebu Pacific.

The airline hopes that talks on bilateral air service agreements between Australia and The Philippines will result in an expansion of capacity between the two countries.

“We hope that the air talks will result in a bilateral agreement between The Philippines and Australia that provides capacity ahead of growth,’’ he added.

Cebu Pacific argues that the 5800 weekly one-way seats between Australia and The Philippines is an unfair comparison to the 36,000 seats between Australia and Indonesia and the 22,000 weekly seats to and from Thailand.

From September to December 2014, Australia's Bureau of Infrastructure Trade and Regional Economics (BITRE) reported a 42 percent increase in passenger traffic between Sydney and Manila. Prior to Cebu’s entry, passenger traffic in the route had been growing at a compound annual growth rate of 8 percent over five years.

Cebu Pacific has six 436-seat A330-300s in its fleet and its long haul operations currently include three destinations in the Middle East, though the airline is also planning to launch services to Hawaii later this year, which is currently only operated by Philippine Airlines.

The airline will cut flights to Sydney back to four from June 3, 2015 but will reinstate the fifth service from September 10, 2015.

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