KOTA KINABALU: An additional flight between Manila and here resulted in an increase in the number of passengers in the first six months of this year as compared to a similar period in 2010.
The thrice weekly connection between the two destinations saw the number of passengers grow from 12,800 between January and June in 2010 to 16,200 passengers during the same period this year, an increase of 27 per cent.
According to Cebu Air Inc. corporate communication specialist Michelle Eve De Guzman, the number of passengers from Manila to Kuala Lumpur (KL) also saw an increase of 31 per cent, from 58,000 in the first six months last year to 76,000 during similar period this year.
“Realising the increase, Cebu Pacific, the largest national flag carrier in the Philippines, decided to increase its direct flights between Manila-KL to 14 flights weekly beginning January 8 next year. This means there will be two flights daily between the routes,” she said.
To date, Cebu Pacific has 10 flights between Manila-KL.
Speaking during a media briefing at the Sabah Tourism Board here yesterday, she added that there was no plan to increase flights or introduce new destinations between Manila and Sabah yet.
“However, eight representatives from top media organisations in the Philippines are currently in Sabah for the Cebu Pacific Backpackers Adventure Challenge. There are four teams, comprising two persons per team, who are going around Sabah to try to do the most activities within five days with a budget of RM1,000. The team with the most activities wins the challenge,” she said.
The participants will then write on the experience here and that it will be like a ‘blueprint’ for Filipinos who wish to spend their holidays in Sabah.
“We hope, through the programme, we will be able to help promote tourism in Sabah and boost our flights,” she said.
Also present at the briefing was STB chairman Datuk Seri Tengku Zainal Adlin.
On another development, De Guzman disclosed that Cebu Pacific had ordered 30 new Airbus A321neo and seven A320 aircrafts, all estimated at around USD3.8 billion (RM11.9 billion), the largest single aircraft order ever made by a Philippine carrier.
The order is expected to be delivered between 2015 and 2021, and these are on top of the firm orders for 18 Airbus A320 aircrafts which will arrive in the second half of this year until 2014.
“This increases Cebu Pacific’s total firm orders of Airbus aircraft to 55,” she said.