Cebu Pacific pumps in capacity as it preps for recovery

The Philippines is working with airlines to promote domestic tourism.

LCC Cebu Pacific is adding capacity in December in a joint effort with the Philippines’ tourism department to promote domestic travel, as well as adding more international flights to support the transport of overseas Filipino workers (OFW). 

The carrier’s VP-commercial, Alex Reyes, said in a media conference that the airline will increase capacity by 5% to reach 15% of pre-COVID-19 levels. 

Cebu Pacific is currently flying 400-450 weekly flights, compared to the 420 daily flights pre-pandemic. Yet Reyes said the network recovery has been progressing well, with service to 28 of its 36 regular domestic destinations resumed. The airline is also increasing frequency of its long-haul anchor Manila (MNL)–Dubai (DXB) to daily, and will restart flights to Japan’s Nagoya (NGO) on Dec. 18.

As part of the “Juan Love” campaign with the country’s tourism department, the carrier is now offering one million seats on sale to promote domestic tourism. 

The LCC is now piloting a Test Before Boarding (TBB) initiative where passengers will be swabbed for the virus on flights between MNL and General Santos International Airport (GES) on Mindanao island. The antigen test is free-of-charge to passengers; the trial run began Dec. 3 and runs through Dec. 14. Reyes said it would be up to local governments as to whether or not such programs would be rolled out in other cities. 

Photo credit: Cebu Pacific