Filipino carrier Cebu Pacific said it is optimistic that the upcoming launch of its direct service between Manila and Melbourne will further boost its market share in Australia on the back of competitive fare offerings for passengers.
Cebu Pacific is set to commence operation of its thrice-a-week Manila-Melbourne-Manila service on 14 August this year – utilising an Airbus A330-300 aircraft.
Melbourne is the second destination of Cebu Pacific in Australia following the launch of its direct Manila-Sydney route in 2014.
Cebu Pacific vice president for marketing, Candice Iyog said: “Bookings for our Manila-Melbourne-Manila service are healthy. The bookings comprise of travelers who want to visit Melbourne and Filipino-Australians who want to visit friends and relatives in various parts of the Philippines.”
Since Cebu Pacific entered the Australian market when it started direct services between Sydney and Manila in 2014, the airline said it has helped spur travel and commerce between the two destinations; and has since led the route in terms of passengers carried.
Tourism between the Philippines and Australia has increased by an average 16 per cent yearly – from about 186,000 in 2014 to over 413,000 as of April 2018.
Based on data from Australia’s Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics (BITRE) from January to April 2018, total passengers flown between the two destinations reached 149,029, up 3.7 per cent year on year.
Of the total from January to April 2018, Cebu Pacific flew a total of 59, 678 passengers, representing a 40 per cent market share while competitor carriers Philippine Airlines and Qantas garnered a market share of 34 per cent and 26 per cent, respectively.
Cebu Pacific flies five times weekly (Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday) between Manila and Sydney. Direct service between Manila and Sydney, which commences on 14 August, will depart every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.