Cebu Pacific said Thursday passenger traffic between the Philippines and Australia grew more than 50 percent as of November last year, overtaking rivals Philippine Airlines and Qantas.
Data from Australia’s Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics showed that Cebu Pacific flew 18,971 passengers between Manila, Melbourne and Sydney in November 2018―up 56 percent from the same period in 2017.
A total of 48,064 passengers traveled between Manila, Melbourne and Sydney on direct connections mounted by Cebu Pacific, PAL and Qantas in November 2018, up 31.3 percent year-on-year.
Cebu Pacific passengers comprised 39.5 percent of the total, while PAL garnered a 38.1-percent share. Qantas operates direct service only between Manila and Sydney.
The Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics is an agency under Australia’s Department of Infrastructure, Regional Development and Cities. Its mandate is to provide economic analysis, research and statistics on infrastructure, transport and regional development issues for the Australian government.
“We have an average market share of about 40 percent for our Melbourne and Sydney routes. We are pleased with the strong reception in Melbourne for Cebu Pacific and excited that the ‘CEB Effect’ of year-round low fare offerings, coupled with our promotions, provide opportunities to visit the Philippines,” Cebu Pacific vice president for marketing Candice Iyog said.
Cebu Pacific flies five times weekly between Manila and Sydney and thrice a week between Manila and Melbourne.
Cebu Pacific said that since the launch of its Melbourne route on Aug, 14, 2018, the capacity between the Philippines and the two cities in Australia increased 32 percent while passenger volume grew 31 percent.
Cebu Pacific is the only low-cost carrier with direct services from Manila to Sydney and Melbourne.
Fares on CEB are up to 60 percent lower than prevailing fares of other airlines flying the same route.
The BITRE report said the expansion of low-cost carriers including Cebu Pacific helped ramp-up tourist arrivals into Australia.
Tourism Australia said that from January to November 2018, a total of 140,700 tourists from the Philippines visited Australia, up 11.7 percent year-on-year.
Data from the Philippines’ Department of Tourism also show that Australia is also one of the top sources of tourist arrivals in the Philippines, with close to 243,000 Australians visiting the country in the same 11-month period, up almost 4 percent, as the country gained popularity as a tropical getaway destination, offering more scenic attractions and better value for money than Vietnam, Thailand or Bali.
“As more brand-new aircraft enters the CEB fleet, we are now in a position to seriously study the possibility of expanding to more destinations in Australia. We are encouraged by our performance in the Australia market. Connecting key cities such as Perth or Cairns would give more Australians easier access to the Philippines and enable more Filipino-Australians to visit family more often,” Iyog said.