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Philippines' Cebu Pacific expands offering in China
Philippines low-cost carrier Cebu Pacific Air
will expand services to China with the launch
of Manila-Xiamen flights, three-times weekly
from 23 March, using Airbus A320 single-aisle
Xiamen will become the airline's 18th
international destination overall and its fourth
in China. The carrier also operates to Beijing,
Shanghai and Guangzhou.
According to Cebu Pacific vice-president
of marketing and distribution Candice Iyog,
the carrier eventually plans to serve all major
coastal cities in China. No timeframe has been
set for this goal.
Some 85 percent of Filipino-Chinese,
including Cebu Pacific President Lance
Gokongwei, originated from Xiamen, on the
South-Eastern coast of China in Fujian province.
The Xiamen flights are expected to boost trade
between China and the Philippines.
Separately, Cebu Pacific, which already
operates to the Malaysian cities of Kuala
Lumpur and Kota Kinabalu, plans to introduce
flights to Kuching in Sarawak, East Malaysia,
later this year.
Domestically, the carrier will add capacity
on major routes and introduce new ones.
Starting 8 February, it will add 11 weekly
services on its Cebu-Manila sector, making a
total of 95 flights a week. The route is seen as
the most lucrative domestic sector and highly
competitive with Philippine Airlines (PAL) and
Zest Air in the fray.
Four weekly flights will be added to Boracay,
three to Dipolog, four to Legazpi, two to
Pagadian and one to Siargao. The airline is also
looking to increase flights to Bacolod, Cagayan
de Oro (CDO), Iloilo and General Santos.
On 24 February, four weekly services will
be introduced on the Iloilo-CDO route and
three between Cebu and Kalibo. With the
launch of the latter, Cebu Pacific will offer
flights to 20 domestic and four international
destinations, including Hong Kong, Busan,
Seoul and Singapore.
The carrier operates from four hubs,
Manila, Cebu, Davao and Clark. Cebu Pacific
holds 47.5 percent of the Philippines domestic
air travel market.
The airline has signed an agreement with
CAE to jointly set up an aviation training
centre in the Clark Freeport Zone. It will start
operations by March and will initially offer
Airbus A320-family type rating training for
Cebu Air's current and new-hire pilots.
Initial, recurrent, conversion and jet
indoctrination training will be also available
to other Airbus operators. The centre will
initially be equipped with two A320 full-flight
simulators, with space for another two to be
The academy is expected to provide training
for cabin crew, dispatch, ground-handling
personnel and cadet pilots at a later stage.
Cebu Pacific, the largest carrier in the
Philippines, operates 19 A320s, ten A319s
and eight ATR72-500 turboprops. From this
year through to 2021, the carrier will take
delivery of 23 purchased A320 jetliners and 30
re-engined A321neo aircraft, alongside two
A320s on operating leases.
The A321neo aircraft will be configured for
220 passengers in a single-class cabin. Cebu
Pacific will select an engine at a later stage.
The engine types offered for the A320neo
family are the CFM International LEAP-X and
the Pratt & Whitney PurePower PW1100G.
-- William Dennis
Hawaiian Airlines is expanding its operations
to create a new hub in Maui, which will offer
improved connections within the Hawaiian
Islands as well as flights to and from the US
West Coast, the airline says.
Mark Dunkerley, Hawaiian's president and
chief executive officer, says: "This investment
in our core business here in Hawaii will
increase service between Maui and other
neighbour islands by 25 percent, and answer
a need identified by our kama'aina [long-term
Hawaiian resident] travellers."
Hawaiian is increasing its daily neighbour-island
schedule by an additional 23 to 25 flights in
the first quarter of 2012. More than half of the
added flights will serve the new Maui hub, with
one third providing additional, non-stop service
between Maui and both Hawaii Island and
Kauai. Hawaiian is supporting the expanded
flight schedule with the three Boeing 717-200
jets it recently acquired.
In addition, Hawaiian is reintroducing nonstop
service to Maui from Los Angeles in June, which
will bring to five the number of U.S. mainland
gateway cities Hawaiian serves non-stop from
Hawaii's second-largest island, alongside Seattle,
Las Vegas, Oakland, and San Jose.
Hawaiian is also retiming the arrival of its
twice-weekly nonstop flights to Maui from
Las Vegas, to accommodate neighbour-island
flight connections, as well as adjusting other
neighbour-island flight schedules to increase
connectivity with its mainland services to and
Hawaiian says the new Maui hub "recognizes
Maui's growth as a visitor destination and its
development as a transit point for neighbour-
island and mainland travel". -- Andrzej Jeziorski
Hawaiian plans new Maui hub,
Hawaiian is adding 23-25 new weekly flights in the first quarter of 2012.
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