Philippines' President Benigno Aquino and new Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) Director General Ramon Gutierrez confirmed the country’s new pocket open skies policy would focus on liberalising operations to/from secondary airports, to initially include Cebu, Davao, Zamboanga and Laoag (Philippine Daily Inquirer/Business Mirror, 05-Jan-2011). Bacolod-Silay City International Airport, General Santos International Airport and Subic Bay International Airport are also considered secondary airports but are not included in the initial policy. Philippines Tourism Secretary Alberto Lim stated airports are now being readied for the implementation of the new policy. Philippines' Bureau of Customs, Bureau of Immigration and the Bureau of Quarantine will deploy additional staff once additional flights start from the airports. Mr Lim added the policy will promote competition among airlines and lower fares to/from the Philippines as a result. The executive order (EO) is reportedly to be introduced from 07-Jan-2011 (BusinessWorld, 06-Jan-2011). Mr Aquino stated the policy affirms an existing EO that allowed a pocket open skies policy.
Philippines open skies to focus on four airports
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The LCC initially added Melbourne to its network plan in 2015 after the Philippines and Australia forged an extended air services agreement. But Cebu Pacific subsequently decided to shelve plans to launch Melbourne, and has instead been using additional A330 capacity to expand in its domestic and regional international market.
Melbourne is now back on the agenda and is the next priority – leapfrogging Honolulu – for Cebu Pacific’s long haul operation. A new partnership with Melbourne-based Tigerair Australia is a key driver in making Manila-Melbourne a viable route, along with the anticipated rapid growth in Australian visitor numbers to the Philippines.
Cebu Pacific Air evaluates A350s, 787s & A330neos to support new long haul flights to US west coast
This is Part 4 in a series of analysis reports on the Philippine market.
Cebu Pacific Air has begun evaluating new-generation widebody aircraft with the objective of launching flights to the west coast of the US. The Philippine LCC is studying the A350, 787 and A330neo and plans to issue a formal tender to Airbus and Boeing in 3Q2017.
Cebu Pacific launched its long haul operation in 2013, with A330-300 services to Dubai. It now operates five long haul routes to the Middle East and Australia and also uses its A330 fleet on several short haul routes.
The airline is slated to take its eighth and final A330-300 in 1H2017, completing the first phase of its widebody strategy. Phase two of Cebu Pacific’s long haul strategy has always been to transition to a new longer-range widebody type and launch flights to California, which has the largest Filipino community not already served by Cebu Pacific. With new aircraft technology now available, and rival Philippine Airlines (PAL) pursuing rapid expansion in the US market, it is time for Cebu Pacific to strategically make its move.