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AIRLINES Cebu Pacific


we are going to right now, which is Shanghai, Beijing, Xiamen and Guangzhou [from Manila]. If we do [fly from Cebu], it will probably be one of those. China remains very important; we’re looking closely into it, similarly in Japan and Korea. We want to build a secondary hub from Cebu – and probably Clark – to China.”


Balancing act Expansion there will help even out Cebu Pacific’s carryings. It has yet to reveal 2018 figures, but was aiming for 22 million passengers, of whom 80% are Filipino. “We are very much Philippine-centric, but we want to grow our international market so we can balance out that 80/20% ratio. We would like to balance our portfolio,” Shau says. He adds the airline plans to continue to


grow secondary routes. “We are very much interested in depth, rather than breadth; we would like to target our north Asia markets and we would like to improve on our Japan and Korea markets,” he explains. A first step has been to open overseas sales offices. Once volume growth is achieved then, says Shau, secondary destinations will be considered, but expansion is not, he insists, simply a matter of looking at where Philippine Airlines flies and copying what it does, but more cheaply. Australia, he says, is another important


market for Cebu Pacific. “Last year, we launched Melbourne. We use our wide- bodies, so we do continue to look at destinations that are of interest. In the Australian market alone, we are looking at Adelaide, Brisbane, Perth and even the Gold Coast. These opportunities are there for us, so we’re looking at international, rather than just purely domestic.” He continues: “We are very encouraged with the success we have had into Sydney, and encouraged with the growth we have in Melbourne and we continue to work


Seeking a match made in heaven When it comes to finding


the perfect airport partner, Cebu Pacific chief operating


Michael Shau


officer Michael Shau has a pretty clear idea of what works for him. He says: “A dream airport is


operationally efficient; sometimes airports are built for looks, sometimes they are built for advanced technology that is maybe not as practical in the setting that we have. That would be number one. “We want cost efficiency not to


burden the public – we don’t want exorbitant airport fees and common use terminals when we already have our own ways and means to get them through. Thirdly, we must have room to grow.”


He is in favour of purpose-built LCC


terminals “as long as we transfer all the savings to the passenger… so it entices them to travel more”. The airports will need plenty


of room to grow too, as Shau is anticipating considerable growth in the Indonesian market. He adds: “Low cost carriers are the





stepping stone for the first flight for a lot of people. “Travel penetration in the Philippines and south-east Asia is very low – only 4 out of 10 use air transportation. We’re still not up there with the likes of Singapore and other countries.”


Cebu Pacific is enjoying success in Sydney


40 ISSUE 2 ROUTES NEWS 2019 routesonline.com


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