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Cebu Pacific ramps up cargo operations

  • Cebu Pacific this year pivoted its business and focused on maximizing the use of its fleet, including freighters
  • Cargo sales now represent almost half or 48% of the airlines’ total revenues
  • For the first half, the airline carried 53.8 million kilograms of cargo
  • For the second quarter, 28.7 million kg of goods were lifted across the budget carrier’s domestic and international networks

Cebu Pacific is banking on its cargo operations to help bring up revenues ravaged by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Cebu Pacific chief commercial officer Xander Lao in a statement said cargo sales now represent almost half or 48% of the airlines’ total revenues.

During the first half, Cebu Air Inc. posted cargo revenues of P2.815 billion, a 26.7% jump from P2.221 billion year-on-year mostly due to higher yield from chartered cargo services and 3% increase in volumes carried.

This contrasts with the sharp drop in revenues from the passenger segment as a result of pandemic-induced travel restrictions. Passenger revenues sank 82.4% to P2.030 billion for the first half of 2021 from P11.507 billion in the same period in 2020 largely due to the 73.4% decline in passenger volume from 4.5 million to 1.2 million, in line with a 55.1% fall in the number of flights. Also contributing to the decline were lower average fares during the period.

“This past year has enabled us to pivot our business and focus on maximizing the use of our fleet, including our freighters, to ensure logistics support is fully covered,” Lao said.

He explained the airline has turned to “alternative revenue streams”, including “the introduction of hybrid flights with one sector carrying passengers, while the other carries purely cargo”.

For the first semester, the country’s largest budget airline carried 53.8 million kilograms of cargo, part of which were 16.5 million COVID-19 vaccine doses from China and over 7 million transported across 23 provinces in the country.

Lao said the airline “continues to transport life-saving vaccines from abroad to the Philippines, and across its widest domestic network” and ensure unhampered transport of essential goods.

For the second quarter alone, the airline lifted 28.7 million kg of goods across its domestic and international networks. These commodities include electronics, automotive parts, aquaculture products, medical goods, fruits, and flowers.

Cebu Pacific reported a net loss of P13.793 billion in the first semester of 2021, 50.9% higher than the P9.141 billion net loss incurred in the same period in 2020.

READ: Cebu Pacific loss climbs 50.9% to P13.8B in first half

Cebu Pacific currently operates the widest domestic network in the Philippines with 31 destinations and eight international destinations. It has a fleet of 74 aircraft, including dedicated cargo planes of two ATR freighters and one A330 freighter.

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