Home » Aviation, Ports/Terminals, Press Releases » Cebu Pacific to launch direct Manila-Melbourne service

Low-cost Philippine carrier Cebu Pacific is launching on August 14 a direct service between Manila and Melbourne to further boost its market share in Australia.

The thrice-a-week Manila-Melbourne-Manila service departs every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. It follows Cebu Pacific’s launch of the direct Manila-Sydney route in 2014, the service flying five times weekly (Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday).

Cebu Pacific vice president for marketing Candice Iyog said in a statement that “bookings for our Manila-Melbourne-Manila service are healthy.”

These bookings, she added, are comprised of travelers who want to visit Melbourne and Filipino-Australians who want to visit friends and relatives in various parts of the Philippines.

She noted that Cebu Pacific fares between Manila and Melbourne start as low as P9,539—about 60% lower than the prevailing fares of other airlines.

Since Cebu Pacific entered the Australian market in 2014, the airline said it has helped spur travel and commerce between the two destinations. It has also since then led the route in terms of passengers and cargo carried.

Tourism between the Philippines and Australia has increased by an average of 16% yearly—from about 186,000 in 2014 to over 413,000 as of April 2018.

Australia is also one of the top sources of tourist arrivals in the Philippines, with over 120,000 Australians visiting the country in the first five months of 2018 alone. The Philippines is fast gaining popularity among Australian travelers as a holiday destination, rivaling Bali in Indonesia as well as Thailand.

Moreover, the direct route between Manila and Sydney has enabled more Filipino-Australians to visit the Philippines frequently. Filipinos are among the largest immigrant groups in Australia, numbering about 300,000 as of 2017.

Based on data from Australia’s Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics (BITRE) for January to April 2018, total passengers flown between the two destinations reached 149,029, up 3.7% year-on-year. Of the total, Cebu Pacific flew 59,678 passengers, representing a 40% market share. On the other hand, competitors Philippine Airlines and Qantas garnered a market share of 34% and 26%, respectively.

In terms of air freight services, the BITRE report showed that cargo volume between Manila and Sydney grew by 10% year-on-year to 3,427 tons in the first four months of 2018. Cebu Pacific garnered 48% of the cargo market share between the two destinations.

“The sustained growth of trade between the Philippines and Australia continues to fuel the demand for cargo space. As we enhance our freight capabilities in the Philippines while offering low-cost and efficient transport of time-sensitive goods, we hope that this would entice more exports of Filipino products into Australia,” said Cebu Pacific vice president for cargo Alex Reyes.

 

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