Davao incident affects Cebu Pacific growth target

Subscribe Now June 29, 2013 at 10:31am

Cebu Air Inc., the operator of budget carrier Cebu Pacific, will likely miss its target of flying 15 million passengers this year following the runway incident at the Davao International Airport on June 2, its president said late Thursday.

“That [15 million passengers] remains our target. But after the first quarter, we’re a little bit short. It’s going to be lower than 15 million, but close,” Cebu Pacific president and chief executive Lance Gokongwei told reporters at the sidelines of the annual stockholders’ meeting of parent JG Summit Holdings Inc. Cebu Pacific’s A320 aircraft veered off the runway at Davao airport on June 2.

The Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines later concluded the accident was caused by pilot error.

The incident obstructed the Davao runway, causing the cancellation of flights for two days. No one was injured during the incident.

Gokongwei said Cebu Pacific canceled 39 roundtrip flights to and from Davao on June 3 and 4, but arranged 30 roundtrip flights to General Santos City from Manila, Cebu, Zamboanga and Kalibo to accommodate affected passengers.

The budget airline started multiple flights from Iloilo, Davao and Cayagan de Oro in the fourth quarter of last year, which brought travel growth between Visayas and Mindanao by 13 percent in the first quarter. Travel within Mindanao increased 45 percent.

Data from its Web site showed Cebu Pacific carried 4.9 million passengers in the January-April period, or 5.2 percent higher than the 4.6 million passengers it flew over the same period last year.

The carrier flew 1.352 million passengers in April alone, representing an increase of 6.1 percent from 1.274 million a year ago.

Domestic passenger traffic continued to drive the budget carrier’s growth, with 3.75 million passengers flying to the different local destinations, while 1.136 million passengers flew to international destinations.

Source: manilastandardtoday.com

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