Cebu Pacific
IATA ICAO Callsign
5J CEB CEBU AIR[1]
FoundedAugust 26, 1988; 35 years ago (1988-08-26)[2]
Commenced operationsMarch 8, 1996; 28 years ago (1996-03-08)
AOC #2009002[3]
Operating bases
Frequent-flyer programGo Rewards
AllianceValue Alliance
Subsidiaries
Fleet size69
Destinations62 (including Cebgo)
Parent companyJG Summit Holdings
Traded asPSECEB
Headquarters
Key people
RevenueIncrease 90.60 billion (2023)
Operating incomeIncrease ₱8.6 billion (2023)
Net incomeIncrease ₱7.92 billion (2023)
Total assetsIncrease ₱187.18 billion (2023)
Total equityIncrease ₱4.78 billion (2023)
Employees3,046 (2021)[5][needs update]
Websitecebupacificair.com
Notes

Cebu Air, Inc. (PSECEB), operating as Cebu Pacific (stylized in lowercase), is a Philippine low-cost airline based at Pasay in Metro Manila. Founded in 1988,[2] it is Asia's first low-cost airline.[7] It offers scheduled flights to both domestic and international destinations. The airline operates flights from five bases in Cebu, Clark, Davao,[8] Iloilo, and its largest base in Manila.

With its low-cost business model and extensive destination network, Cebu Pacific became the Philippines' largest airline based on number of passengers flown on domestic and international routes in 2010, overtaking rival Philippine Airlines (PAL). According to Civil Aeronautics Board data, Cebu Pacific flew 2.45 million total passengers in the first quarter of 2010, nearly 110,000 more than PAL, which carried 2.34 million systemwide during the same period.[9][10]

The airline has been criticized for its frequent flight delays and cancellations, as well as unsatisfactory service to passengers, prompting investigations by the Philippine government.[11]

History

Foundation and growth (1988–2006)

A McDonnell Douglas DC-9-30 on its final flight to Mactan–Cebu International Airport in 2006

Cebu Pacific was established on August 26, 1988. Republic Act No. 7151, which grants a legislative franchise to Cebu Air, Inc. to operate, was approved on August 30, 1991.[12] The airline began operations on March 8, 1996, with its first flight from Manila to Cebu. Domestic services began following market deregulation by the Philippine government. The airline was subsequently acquired by JG Summit Holdings, owned at the time by John Gokongwei.

The airline temporarily ceased operations in February 1998 after being grounded by the government following the crash of Cebu Pacific Flight 387 that killed 104, but resumed services later the next month following re-certification of its aircraft.[8] It initially started with 24 domestic flights daily among Metro Manila, Metro Cebu, and Metro Davao. By the end of 2001, its operations had grown to about 80 daily flights to 18 domestic destinations.

In the 2000s, Cebu Pacific was granted rights to operate international flights to the region, including Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand, South Korea, Hong Kong, and Guam. International flights were launched on November 22, 2001, with a twice-daily service to Hong Kong.[13] Thrice-weekly flights to Seoul commenced on March 1, 2002,[14] followed by Singapore on October 1.[15][16] Other regional flights were introduced and suspended later; however, including flights to Singapore (from November 6, 2002, to January 2003) and from Manila via Subic to Seoul (from December 2002) due in part to the effects of the SARS epidemic.[17]

On November 11, 2005, Cebu Pacific launched its "Go Fares" promo, reducing its air fares by half to increase the airline's revenue by twenty percent.[18] Following the move, the airline experienced significant passenger growth,[19] and Cebu Pacific President Lance Gokongwei anticipated the low fares would lead more people to travel by air.[18]

The airline resumed its Manila–Singapore flights on August 31, 2006,[20] and launched a direct flight from Cebu to Singapore on October 23. It was the first low-cost airline to serve the Cebu-Singapore-Cebu sector,[21] and competing directly with Singapore Airlines subsidiary SilkAir, the only Philippine carrier serving the route for years until Philippine Airlines resumed direct service in 2017. Cebu Pacific's direct Cebu–Hong Kong flights began on October 2, 2006, making it the Philippine carrier to serve the Cebu-Hong Kong-Cebu route after PAL terminated its direct service and began code-sharing with Cathay Pacific on the route.[22]

Initial expansion (2007–2011)

Cebu Pacific's first Airbus aircraft, an A320-200 (wearing the 2005–2016 livery), as pictured at Hong Kong International Airport in December 2005.

In November 2007, Cebu Pacific announced Francisco Bangoy International Airport in Davao City as its third base after Manila and Cebu. It opened on May 8, 2008, with the launching of direct services from Davao to Singapore, Hong Kong, and Iloilo.[23] In late 2007, Cebu Pacific announced plans to launch non-stop flights to the United States West Coast, Houston, and Chicago by mid-2009.[24]

Cebu Pacific's plans to begin international flights from Clark in 2007 were initially unsuccessful when its request was denied. The nations involved came to an agreement that Cebu Pacific would be only allowed to operate charter flights from Clark to the respective countries' airport(s). Only Singapore initially agreed to allow Cebu Pacific to fly scheduled flights from Clark.[25] After launching flights between Clark and Cebu in 2006,[26] on November 8, 2008, the airline commenced international flights from Clark to Hong Kong, Macau, Bangkok and Singapore, making Clark its fourth hub.[27]

On May 28, 2008, Cebu Pacific was named as the world's number one airline in terms of growth. The airline was also ranked fifth in Asia for Budget Airline passengers transported and 23rd in the world.[28] On November 20, 2008, it started operating direct flights to Japan, starting with Osaka (Kansai),[29] followed by Tokyo (Narita) and Nagoya in 2014,[30] and Fukuoka in 2015.[31]

In August 2009, Cebu Pacific became the first airline in the Philippines to use social media; the airline created a fan page on Facebook and Twitter.[32] In October 2010, the airline completed an initial public offering of 30.4% of outstanding shares, raising ₱23.3 billion prior to an exercise of an overallotment option.[33] By January 2011, the airline flew its 50 millionth passenger from Manila to Beijing.[34]

Further growth and re-branding (2012–2020)

The entry of the Airbus A330 in 2013 coincided with the launching of Cebu Pacific's low-cost, long-haul international flights.

Cebu Pacific continued its network expansion in the 2010s. On August 2, 2012, the airline opened a base at Kalibo International Airport and launched direct flights from Kalibo to Davao and Puerto Princesa.[35] On November 8, it opened Iloilo International Airport as its fifth base, and direct flights were launched from Iloilo to Hong Kong, General Santos, Singapore, and Puerto Princesa.[36] That same year, Cebu Pacific planned to commence international long-haul flights to the Middle East, the United States, Australia, and parts of Europe using the Airbus A330-300.[37] It then began long-haul flights, starting with Dubai on October 7, 2013,[38] followed by Sydney in 2014 and Melbourne in 2018.[39][40]

By January 2015, the airline had flown over 100 million passengers.[41] On June 1, Cebu Pacific revealed its new logo that represents the colors of the Philippines and also symbolizes as an evolution of a low-cost pioneer.[42] The airline received its first Airbus A320 painted in the new livery on January 22, 2016.[43]

Cebu Pacific opened its seventh hub in Cagayan de Oro (Laguindingan Airport) on October 20, 2017, and launched direct flights to Dumaguete and Caticlan.[44] That same month, it flew its 150 millionth passenger.[45] In 2018, Cebgo, Cebu Pacific's regional subsidiary, launched flights to Basco, Batanes.[46]

COVID-19 and subsequent recovery (2020–present)

The COVID-19 pandemic impacted the operations of the airline and its regional subsidiary. All operations were suspended during the enhanced community quarantine in Luzon in 2020. Due to low passenger demand, the airline laid off 1,300 employees that year,[47] and sent many aircraft to indefinite storage.[48] In 2021, Cebu Pacific raised a total of ₱40.5 billion (US$822 million) to help the airline recover from the pandemic.[49]

On March 8, 2021, Cebu Pacific celebrated its twenty-fifth anniversary.[50]

As travel demand recovers, it started rehiring retrenched employees in November 2021.[47] In March 2022, Cebu Pacific flew its 200 millionth passenger from Manila to Cebu.[51] By December 2022, the airline operated at 92% of pre-pandemic levels.[52] In early 2023, Cebu Pacific resumed flights to China as the country, being an important market for tourism in the Philippines, lifted travel restrictions.[53]

On April 21, 2023, Cebu Pacific reopened its Pampanga hub at Clark International Airport.[54]

On February 28, 2024, Cebu Pacific was awarded the Best Airline award at the Routes Asia Awards 2024 for its "exceptional contributions to airport and destination marketing in the Asia Pacific region". It was also awarded Best Low-Cost Airline Brand and Most Sustainable Low-Cost Airline in the Philippines for 2023 by the World Economic Magazine.[55]

From March 1 to 9, 2024, to commemorate the Singapore stop of Taylor Swift's The Eras Tour, Cebu Pacific renumbered its Singapore flights as 5J 1989, in reference to Swift's fifth studio album, as well as its 2023 re-recording.[56]

After three consecutive financial years of losses, Cebu Pacific reported its first full-year post-pandemic profit in 2023.[57]

Corporate affairs

Cebu Pacific headquarters, as viewed from the Ninoy Aquino International Airport runway.

Cebu Pacific is headquartered at the Cebu Pacific Building along Domestic Road in Pasay.[2] The airline is a subsidiary of JG Summit Holdings.

Partnerships

Cebu Pacific was the only Philippines-based member airline of Northwest Airlines' WorldPerks award travel program. WorldPerks offered regular travellers the ability to obtain free tickets, first-class upgrades on flights and other types of rewards. On August 1, 2006, Northwest and Cebu Pacific ended their mileage-accrual agreement.[citation needed]

On May 16, 2016, Cebu Pacific became a founding member of the world's largest low-cost carrier alliance, Value Alliance.[58] It joined other pioneer members Singapore's Scoot, South Korea's Jeju Air, Thailand's Nok Air and NokScoot, Tigerair, Tigerair Australia, and Japan's Vanilla Air in the low-cost carrier network.[59] Cebu Pacific is also currently the only Philippine carrier which is a member of an airline alliance.

Subsidiaries

Cebgo is the airline's regional subsidiary. It operates an all-turboprop fleet of ATR 72-600 aircraft and is used in regional domestic routes. It was founded in May 2015 following the acquisition of Tigerair Philippines by Cebu Pacific.[60]

Cebu Pacific Cargo operates two dedicated cargo turboprop aircraft. The airline announced in 2018 that it would enter the dedicated cargo market to support the increase in demand for logistics.[61]

Business highlights

Cebu Pacific Group business highlights[62]
Financial performance (PHP billions)
Fiscal year 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022 2023
Revenue 19.68 23.31 29.09 33.94 37.90 41.00 52.00 56.50 61.90 68.03 74.11 84.81 22.62 15.74 56.75 90.60
Expenses 17.96 20.15 22.64 30.60 35.24 38.60 47.84 46.80 49.65 57.90 67.06 72.19 43.39 38.90 68.18 82.02
Operating income 1.73 3.16 6.45 3.34 2.66 2.40 4.16 9.70 12.25 10.13 7.05 12.62 −20.77 −23.16 −11.43 8.60
Net income −3.26 3.26 6.92 3.62 3.57 0.51 0.85 4.39 9.75 7.90 3.92 9.12 −22.24 −24.90 −13.98 7.92
Assets 32.56 35.32 49.94 55.68 61.41 67.53 76.06 84.83 100.51 109.08 129.39 157.73 128.46 138.25 147.16 187.18
Liabilities 28.56 28.06 32.03 36.51 39.37 46.45 54.52 59.87 67.00 69.29 89.29 112.83 105.77 127.64 150.04 182.41
Equity 4.00 7.26 17.91 19.17 22.04 21.08 21.54 24.96 33.51 39.79 40.10 44.90 22.69 10.61 −2.89 4.78
Operating highlights
Fiscal year 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Passengers (million) 6.67 8.76 10.46 11.93 13.26 14.35 16.90 18.38 19.13 19.75 20.28 22.47 5.03 3.41 14.85
Available seats (million) 8.54 11.31 12.26 13.83 16.04 17.52 20.11 22.25 22.25 23.49 23.91 26.01 6.62 5.63 19.72
Load factor (%) 78.10 77.45 85.32 86.26 82.67 81.91 84.04 82.61 85.98 84.08 84.82 86.39 75.98 60.57 75.30
RPK (million) 5,653 7,056 8,860 10,531 11,533 12,927 16,213 19,872 21,220 21,301 21,736 24,883 5,275 2,479 11,870
ASK (million) 7,365 9,369 10,379 12,369 14,173 16,207 20,496 19,872 25,989 26,233 25,881 29,298 7,107 4,878 17,288
Fleet size 25 29 32 37 41 48 52 55 57 61 71 75 74 74 76

Environmental initiatives

As part of the airline's modernization and environmental initiatives, Cebu Pacific is replacing its existing aircraft with new fuel-efficient aircraft by 2028.[63] In addition, the airline used sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) initially on its delivery flights, before using SAF on a commercial passenger flight from Singapore to Manila on September 28, 2022, using an Airbus A321neo.[64] The airline also signed a five-year agreement with Shell Aviation that would supply 25,000 metric tons of SAF to Cebu Pacific.[65]

On November 3, 2022, Cebu Pacific received the Asia Environmental Sustainability Airline/Airline Group of the Year award from the Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation (CAPA) for its green initiative efforts in aviation industry.[66]

On October 19, 2023, Cebu Pacific signed another five-year agreement with Neste, one of the largest producers of sustainable aviation fuel.[67] The airline then completed its second SAF-powered flight on October 25, from Narita International Airport to Manila, also performed by an A321neo.[68]

Destinations

Main article: List of Cebu Pacific destinations

Fleet

For the fleet of subsidiary Cebgo, see Cebgo § Fleet.

Current fleet

As of March 2024, Cebu Pacific operates an all-Airbus fleet composed of the following aircraft:[69][70][71]

Cebu Pacific fleet
Aircraft In service Orders Passengers[72] Notes
Airbus A320-200 22 180 2 aircraft leased from Bulgaria Air.[73]
Airbus A320neo 17 6 188
Airbus A321-200 7 230
Airbus A321neo 14 10 236[74] Aircraft in the Airbus Cabin Flex (ACF) configuration.[75]
Airbus A321XLR 10 TBA Deliveries start in 2024.[76]
Airbus A330-300 1 436
Airbus A330-900 8 8 459 To replace Airbus A330-300.
Total 69 34

Gallery

Fleet development

Previously operating the McDonnell Douglas DC-9 and Boeing 757 aircraft, Cebu Pacific has transitioned to an all-Airbus fleet in 2006.

Turboprops were introduced to the fleet in 2007, when Cebu Pacific ordered six ATR 72-500 turboprop aircraft for its regional domestic flights.[77] By 2015, the transferred to its regional subsidiary Cebgo, with Cebu Pacific operating mainly jet aircraft.[78][79]

On June 18, 2019, Cebu Pacific ordered 31 Airbus aircraft at that year's Paris Air Show, consisting of five more A320neos, sixteen A330neos, and ten A321XLRs, in a deal worth US$6.8 billion at list prices. This makes the airline as one of the few launch customers of the long-range narrow-body Airbus A321XLR aircraft.[80] These were ordered as part of its fleet modernization, seeking to replace its older fleet with newer, fuel-efficient aircraft.[80]

In 2023, Cebu Pacific took delivery of nineteen new aircraft, raising its fleet size to seventy-seven.[81]

To prepare for the anticipated doubling of travel demand in Southeast Asia, the airline is set to order 100 to 150 aircraft—the largest order of any Philippine-based airline—in a deal worth US$12 billion at list prices.[82] The order is expected to be finalized in the first quarter of 2024.[83]

Airbus A320

In 2004, Cebu Pacific signed a purchase agreement with Airbus for the acquisition of twelve A319s and the lease of two A320s to replace its existing fleet of Boeing 757 and McDonnell Douglas DC-9 aircraft.[84] It selected the CFM56 for its Airbus aircraft.[85] Cebu Pacific took delivery of its first A320-200 in May 2005, leased from CIT Aerospace.[86] The airline went on to order more A320s in the following years, raising its total orders to twenty-two by 2010.[87] The A320s supported the airline's expanding international and domestic operations.[88]

In July 2018, Cebu Pacific leased five Airbus A320neos from Avolon; the first of which was delivered in June 2019.[89] On December 19, 2019, Cebu Pacific finalized its order of five more A320neos after its order announcement in June.[76]

On June 30, 2023, the airline took delivery of its first Airbus plane assembled in China — an A320neo built at its final assembly line at Tianjin Binhai International Airport, leased from Clover Aviation Capital.[90]

To offset the grounding of its A320neo family fleet, on December 5, 2023, Cebu Pacific signed an agreement with Bulgaria Air to damp lease two A320ceos for use on domestic flights to Cebu and Davao City.[73]

Airbus A321

In June 2011, Cebu Pacific ordered 30 Airbus A321neos including nine leased; the deal was finalized in August, with deliveries starting from 2017.[91]

On June 7, 2017, the airline ordered seven A321-200s to meet ongoing strong growth on its domestic and regional network,[92] as well as to offset the delivery delays of the A321neos due to problems with the Pratt & Whitney PW1100G-JM geared turbofan engines that would power the A321neos.[93]

Cebu Pacific took delivery of its first A321ceo on March 22, 2018,[94] followed by its first A321neo on January 20, 2019.[95] On December 19, 2019, Cebu Pacific finalized its order of ten A321XLRs after its order announcement in June.[76]

Airbus A330

In 2007, the airline ordered six Airbus A330-300s to operate long-haul Middle East destinations such as Dubai, East Asia routes such as Hong Kong, Seoul, and Tokyo, and Southeast Asia cities such as Bangkok and Singapore. It will also be used in the domestic sector, namely flights to Cebu, Davao, and General Santos. Cebu Pacific received its first A330-300 on June 15, 2013.[96] In 2016, the carrier then added two more A330s on its orders to complement earlier fleet in operating new long-haul routes, such as Sydney and Melbourne.[97]

On November 4, 2019, Cebu Pacific finalized its order of 16 Airbus A330neos to replace the Airbus A330ceos after its order announcement in June.[98] Leased from Avolon,[99] the first A330-900 was delivered on November 28, 2021.[100][101]

Former fleet

Cebu Pacific retired fleet
Aircraft Total Introduced Retired Replacement Notes Refs
Airbus A319-100 10 2005 2018 Airbus A320neo
Airbus A321neo
Sold to Allegiant Air. [102]
ATR 72-500 6 2008 2015 None Transferred to Cebgo.
Boeing 757-200 3 2000 2006 Airbus A320-200 [84]
McDonnell Douglas DC-9-30 19 1996 2006 Airbus A319-100 One crashed as Cebu Pacific Flight 387. [84]

Gallery

Criticism and controversies

Customer service and punctuality

Cebu Pacific has been criticized for its poor passenger service, alleged overbooking, flight delays and cancellations.[103] For instance, the airline was also criticized for lack of coordination in the aftermath of the runway excursion incident at Francisco Bangoy International Airport in 2013 and the numerous flight cancellations and delays during the December 2014 Christmas peak season.[104]

In January 2018, Cebu Pacific was named as one of the world's least punctual airlines, with an on-time performance of 57.6 percent in 2017 based on data from OAG. Also included in the list from the Philippines is another low-cost airline, Philippines AirAsia, with an on-time performance of 58.0 percent.[105]

The airline was again criticized in 2023 because of its "unsatisfactory" service to passengers,[11] prompting the Senate of the Philippines to begin an investigation on June 21, 2023.[106]

Other controversies

In October 2010, a video uploaded to YouTube showing female flight attendants dancing to Lady Gaga's Just Dance and Katy Perry's California Gurls drew international attention. Despite its popularity, it was criticized by the Flight Attendants and Stewards Association of the Philippines (FASAP), referring it as "sexist and gender-insensitive".[107] That same month, the airline was criticized again for its dancing male crew.[108]

Accidents and incidents

See also

References

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