Philippines' Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) eased airline restrictions it recently put in place following appeals by AirAsia Philippines, Cebu Pacific and Zest Airways who argued the policies were discriminatory as they only applied to local carriers (Business World Online, 14-Jun-2012). The restrictions prohibited carriers from overbooking flights and prevented airlines from not allowing refunds or rebookings to passengers on budget tickets. Under the relaxed rules which take effect from 14-Jun-2012, local carriers will be able to overbook services to up to 5% of flight capacity (reduced from previous industry practice of 10%) and passengers who wish to receive a refund or rebook their services must submit their request at least 24 hours before the estimated time of departure.
Philippines CAB eases recent airline restrictions
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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.
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CAPA’s 2016 outlook was against a background of unusually high levels of profitability for airlines.