CEB new flights bring Kalibo, Puerto Princesa closer to Mindanao-A A +A
Friday, June 29, 2012
TWO tourism officials of Palawan and Western Visayas lauded budget carrier Cebu Pacific (CEB) for bringing their areas closer to Mindanao. This after CEB announced the opening of new Davao routes to Puerto Princesa City and Iloilo starting August 2.
Rebecca V. Labit, city tourism officer of Puerto Princesa, said the new flights are a development that they have been looking forward to.
"This is a dream come true for Puerto Princesa City. Cebu Pacific is first airline that brought our city to Visayas when they opened flights to Cebu. Now it’s a breath of fresh air for bring us closer to Mindanao especially Davao," Labit said during Wednesday's media launch of the Davao-Puerto Princesa City and Davao-Kalibo flights at Ronaldo's restaurant on F. Torres, Davao City.
Davao, she said, has been way ahead in terms of tourism. "I am planning to bring my tourism staff to Davao anytime soon to learn Davao's best tourism practices."
The opening of new flights, Labit added, is just in time as the city will soon start the construction of the Puerto Princesa International Airport.
Meanwhile, lawyer Helen Catalbas, Department of Tourism-Western Visayas regional director, said Kalibo will just be an hour and 20 minutes away from Davao, giving Dabawenyos and people from Kalibo the accessibility to both areas beautiful destinations.
Michelle de Guzman of Cebu Pacific's corporate communications office said the launch of four times weekly Davao-Kalibo and Davao-Puerto Princesa flights will further boost the arrival of three Airbus A320 aircrafts in the second half of the year.
CEB, de Guzman said, will also introduce the A330-300 aircraft into its fleet in the 2nd half of 2013, thereby, building the fleet size to eight A330-300.
The new Davao-Kalibo flights will be on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays leaving Davao at 1:50 p.m. and arriving in Kalibo at 7:10 p.m.
Kalibo-Davao flights will be on the same days, leaving Kalibo at 11:50 a.m.
The Davao-Puerto Princesa flights, on the other hand, will be on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturday and Sundays, leaving Davao at 1:40 p.m. and arriving at Puerto Princesa at 3:20 p.m.
Flights from Puerto Princesa to Davao will be on the same days at 3:50 p.m.
De Guzman said the Gokongwei-lead airline will be flying more frequencies and routes.
"With more aircrafts adding to its fleet, Cebu Pacific will fly to far destinations with a maximum 11 flying hours. Soon it will be flying to India, Hokkaida in Japan and Perth in Australia," she said. "It's a wider reach that Cebu Pacific will offer Philippine passenger market and bring low fares to even farther destinations like US, Australia and Middle East where many Overseas Filipino Workers are."
De Guzman assured Cebu Pacific's air fare for long haul will be 80 percent cheaper with promo fares.
Citing data from the Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB), de Guzman said in 2011, Cebu Pacific posted 47 percent market share in Davao where it flies more than 200 weekly flights between Davao and five domestic destinations (Manila, Cagayan de Oro, Zamboanga, Iloilo and Cebu).
In the first quarter of 2012, the airline posted a 17 percent passenger growth as compared to the same period last year.
CEB increased its capacity in the first quarter with the arrival of one more Airbus A320 aircraft last January. It presently operates 52 routes to 32 domestic destinations, which the company claimed to be the most extensive network in the Philippines.
Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on June 30, 2012.