Bye-bye seat sale? Cebu Pacific to keep fares low, offers unlimited rebooking
For customers with existing Travel Funds, the two-year validity will be applied retroactively, or from the date the fund was created. Adapting to the ‘new normal’ The ongoing pandemic has grounded many flights around the world, including Cebu Pacific’s. The Gokongwei-led airline’s current flights since it restarted operations on June 2 account for only 10 percent of its pre-COVID network. “Today we fly to 23 domestic and one (Dubai) international destination (Manila-Incheon flights will resume on August 6). Pre-COVID, we fly to 36 domestic and 26 international, a total of 62 destinations,” said Iyog.
Iyog pointed out that the additional cost to the operating expenses from the improved safety protocols enforced to ensure passengers and crew members’ safety has not been factored in yet. “In the larger and greater scheme of things, it is not the biggest cost we need to manage. The biggest cost is still fuel and other operating cost,” she clarified. What to expect when you fly In a bid to regain passengers’ trust, CEB has implemented new disinfection protocols on top of the mandatory wearing of face masks, contactless processes of checking in and boarding, and requiring its employees to undergo a rapid test using FDA-approved test kits.
“We changed our safety and sanitation process for passengers and employees and for our equipment because we know that coming out of this pandemic, the biggest concern of our passengers would be health and safety, along with economic concerns,” said Iyog. Each aircraft now undergoes deep interior cleaning and disinfection daily, from every seven days pre-pandemic. The lavatory will be cleaned every 30 minutes or after every passenger uses the facility. To keep a safe distance among guests, Iyog said the airline uses a “seating algorithm” that puts spaces between passengers in-flight. “If you’re traveling together, you can be seated together. If you’re traveling separately, we will put one seat between each group of passengers.” Cabin air is filtered and recirculated, bringing fresh air that’s 99.97 percent virus-free every three minutes. “The only surface the refreshed air touches before your nose and mouth is the top of your head. It comes from top to bottom then goes to the floor and gets recirculated again,” explained Iyog. Passengers will also be required to dispose their garbage at the end of the flight, as well as stow and retrieve their hand-carry luggage from the overhead bins. In-flight meals are temporarily suspended to further limit interactions between crew and passenger.