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NEWS UPDATES 11 August 2009

Promotions help local air travel in the Philippines

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Domestic air travel in the Philippines grew by a third in the first half boosted by airlines’ promotional offerings, the country’s Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) was quoted by the Manila Times as saying.

Data from CAB showed the number of domestic air passengers grew 30 percent to 7.59 million at end-June compared with 5.82 million in the same period last year. The industry’s load factor—the number of seats occupied during a flight—inched up to 76.6 percent in the first half form 75.6 percent in the same period in 2008.

The number of seats offered by the country’s five airlines reached 9.38 million, higher than last year’s 7.29 million.

Cebu Pacific remained the leading domestic carrier during the period, having carried 3.6 million passengers, up 38 percent from 2.6 million last year. Cebu Pacific’s load factor rose to 83 percent from last year’s 82 percent.

Rival Philippine Airlines (PAL) recorded a 45-percent increase in passengers flown to 3.2 million from last year’s 2.2 million. The airline had a load factor of 80 percent, same as in the first half last year.

Smaller players like Southeast Asian Airline (SEAIR) and Air Philippines, however, suffered drops in their volume. SEAIR carried 83,132 passengers, down from last year’s 138,381. Its load factor, however, inched up to 71 percent from 70 percent.

Air Philippines flew 254,244 passengers, slumping 59 percent from last year’s 623,036. Its load factor was down to 76 percent from 77 percent in 2008.

Buck?ing the trend among the small carriers was Zest Air, the former Asian Spirit, having recorded an increase in passengers flown to 433,576 from 249,651 previously. Its load factor stood at 71 percent, higher than last year’s 70 percent.

CAB data also showed that air cargo volume dropped 7 percent to 60.28 million kilograms in the first half of the year from 65.19 million in the same period last year. Of the total, PAL carried 27.23 million kilograms; Air Phil., 407,100; Cebu Pacific, 31.62 million; SEAIR, 200,779; and Pacific East Asia Cargo, 815,096.


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