PAL Express, an LCC subsidiary of Philippine Airlines, announced plans to undertake measures, including fleet updates, to increase its domestic network and capacity to compete with Cebu Pacific (CAAC-News, 17-May-2010). PAL Express took delivery of two leased A320s from Philippine Airlines, deployed on Cagayan de Oro, Iloilo City, Bacolod and Puerto Princesa sectors from late-Mar-2010. The carrier will receive two to four additional aircraft this year. According to the Philippine Civil Aviation Authority, PAL Express transported 408,863 passengers in 2009, a decline of 55.2% year-on-year.
Philippine Airlines' LCC subsidiary to compete with Cebu Pacific for domestic market
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Cebu Pacific Air is again looking at expanding in the Australia market by launching flights to Melbourne. Efforts in recent months to improve Cebu Pacific’s performance in Sydney, which was launched in 2014, are bearing fruit and the airline is confident with Melbourne it can stimulate further demand in the Philippines-Australia market.
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.
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