CEBU Pacific (CEB), the Philippines’ largest national carrier, continues to fly Philippine produce and goods via its direct flights to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) amid the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.
In its steadfast commitment to serve the Filipinos in the UAE including in months with stern movement restrictions, CEB has conducted 12 cargo
flights from the second and third half 2020 (Q2 to Q3 of 2020) for Manila to Dubai and vice versa.
Prior to the onset of the global health crisis, the airline had operated in first quarter (Q1 of 2020) 75 cargo flights on the same route for export of food commodities from the Philippines.
According to the cargo data released by CEB from January to September 2020, the UAE is one of the top global export destinations of the airline for Philippine produce. Of the total 37,405 kilograms of fruit exported to various international destinations, 29 per cent or a total of 10,674 kilograms were delivered to Dubai. It ranked second to Hong Kong, where the airline delivered 55 percent or a total of 20,641 kilograms of fruit in the same period.
The Philippine mango topped CEB’s list of most exported fruits, amounting to 27,132 kilograms. This was followed by Philippine lime or calamansi, soursop or guyabano, sapota or chico, and turnip or singkamas at 6,178 kilograms.
According to Charmaine Yalong, commercial attaché of Philippine Trade and Investment Centre (PTIC) of the Department of Trade and Industry, the increasing demand for Filipino food products in the UAE may be attributed to the high disposable incomes of consumers, primarily owing to the large presence of Filipinos in the country, as well as the growing proportion of Filipino brands being mainstreamed in the market.
“The continued support to Philippine exporters, through trade referrals and organization of Philippine participations in trade exhibitions and outbound business missions, contributed to the increasing presence of Philippine products in the UAE. As such, aside from gratifying the cravings of our kababayans for native Philippine products, the cosmopolitan tastes of locals and expatriates in the UAE are now being catered to as well. A wide range of these products are now available side-by-side with other products from Asia, Europe and the United States in the shelves of supermarkets here in the UAE,” Yalong said.
“Also, the rising number of outlets of Filipino restaurants proliferating in UAE's malls and city centers manifests the endeavors of Philippine franchisors and Middle East franchisees to capitalize on the tremendous opportunities for growth and expansion in the UAE,” she added.
Yalong said that during the first half of 2020, Philippine food exports to UAE has seen a sustained growth. Aside from fruits, the Philippines saw an uptick trend on the export of its processed food and beverages to the UAE which accounted for a whopping US$20.86 million or AED76.61 million. Also on the list were pineapple and byproducts, US$14.02 million; fresh bananas, US$12.9 million; tuna, US$3.3 million; and fresh/processed fish, US$0.59 million.
Alex B. Reyes, vice president for Commercial of Cebu Pacific, said the airline’s UAE-bound export from the Philippines is not only limited to agriculture. Within the first three quarters of 2020, CEB has also exported to Dubai about 1,322 kilograms of food items and 372 kilograms of marine frozen products.
“Cebu Pacific’s continued flight operations to the UAE clearly reflects its unyielding commitment to serve Filipinos outside the Philippines, allowing them to catch or taste a glimpse of home despite being hundreds of miles away. We will remain keen to operate cargo flights not just to the UAE, but also to other parts of the world, as part of our resolve to promote the wonderful offerings of the country through CEB’s Juan Love campaign. Hopefully, other consumers will get to enjoy our local products, and in turn, get inspired to visit the Philippines and fall in love with what it has to offer,” said Reyes.
Yalong said a global event will provide the country the opportunity to showcase the very best of its culture and heritage to an audience of millions, and in turn, help them find collaborative, action-driven solutions that will not only harness intercontinental cooperation, but will also help create a strong and sustainable future.
“We are confident that this high demand for Filipino food commodities in the UAE will translate strongly in the upcoming World Expo in Dubai this year. The large volume of Filipino food exports to the UAE boosts the image of the Philippines as a source of quality food products derived from fresh, healthy, and natural ingredients. Our products will be featured in various areas of the Philippine pavilion during the mega-event. The Bangkota’s Mangrove Cafe will host traditional and eclectic Philippine cuisine, which will reflect the Philippines' rich and diverse flavors from the country's numerous islands. The Philippine Pavilion will also feature the Marahuyo Boutique, where Philippine products will be displayed and sold to Pavilion visitors to show the deeply-rooted spirit of Filipino craftsmanship from regions across the Philippine archipelago,” she added.
For future cargo related transactions with Cebu Pacific, reach out to International Sales Team headed by Jose Laurente Jr., cargo sales director, or Stephanie Salvador, cargo sales manager, at firstname.lastname@example.org. (PR)