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September 1, 2008

Philippines’ Cebu Pacific expands hub with 2 new aircraft
Philippine budget airline Cebu Pacific (CEB) is expanding its regional operations hub in Cebu with the addition of two new aircraft and three new domestic flights, reported national news agency PNA.

Cebu Pacific president and chief executive officer Lance Gokongwei said CEB will take delivery of two high standard regional ATR 3 and ATR 4 turboprop aircraft on October and November, respectively.

These aircraft will be based in Cebu and will strengthen the CEB hub at the Mactan-Cebu International Airport, which presently has four Airbus A320s.

The two new environment-friendly and fuel-efficient planes involve a combined investment of $40 million.

Gokongwei said the two aircraft will also strengthen Cebu's already leading presence in the domestic and international front, improve frequencies and schedules and optimize Cebu's central location in the country.

He said the CEB set up its Cebu hub after considering the vibrancy of the market, the strategic location of the province being in the center of the country and the availability of skilled people who can carry out the airlines services.

Gokongwei said CEB earlier ordered 10 ATRs, which are manufactured in France. The first two arrived in the first quarter this year and are now based in CEB's Manila hub.

The budget airline expects delivery of six more planes in the coming months. Its fleet is expected to have 25 planes by the end of this year and grow to 31 aircraft next year.

With the new aircraft, CEB will service three new routes: Cebu-Dipolog, Cebu-Ozamis, and Cebu-Surigao.

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