The Philippines’ largest budget carrier, Cebu Pacific (PSE:CEB) celebrated the arrival of its brand-new Airbus A330-300 aircraft from Toulouse, France, in a ceremony held at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport today. This is CEB’s 2nd Airbus A330 aircraft delivery this year, in time for the launch of the airline’s long-haul operations in October 2013.
The ceremony’s guest of honor was Vice President Jejomar Binay, who was joined by CEB Chairman of the Board Atty. Ricardo Romulo, and CEB CEO and President Lance Gokongwei.
“Today marks another milestone for Cebu Pacific, as we celebrate the introduction of the Airbus A330-300 into Cebu Pacific’s growing fleet. Since we started international operations, our focus has always been to fly where Filipinos are. With our flights to Dubai, using this brand-new Airbus A330 aircraft, we can bring Global Filipinos home faster, not just to Manila but wherever they may be in the Philippines,” said Gokongwei.
CEB will operate direct daily flights between Manila and Dubai beginning October 7, 2013. CEB offers passengers fares that are up to 35% lower than other carriers.
The airline's non-stop, direct Manila-Dubai service will be the fastest way to reach Manila and make same day connections with CEB's extensive Philippine route network.
“We estimate over half a million Filipinos are working and living in the United Arab Emirates, and this figure is bound to increase in the future. When Cebu Pacific launches its long-haul services next month, it will be the first time a Philippine carrier lands in Dubai in 15 years. I hope that this will only inspire Cebu Pacific to remain committed to serving the Global Filipino community,” Vice President Jejomar Binay said.
Earlier this year, CEB announced its support to Global Runner Cesar Guarin, the first Filipino set to run the length of the globe. Guarin did its Middle Eastern leg last May and met Filipinos in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, and Jeddah among others.
On the maiden Dubai-Manila flight, CEB will also bring home “100 Lucky Juans,” as part of its initiative to bring home 100 Global Filipinos for free. The 100 Lucky Juans, whose length of stay in the Middle East without returning to the Philippines, at least a year, will be welcomed with a homecoming party upon their arrival from Dubai.
CEB’s 47-strong fleet is comprised of 10 Airbus A319, 27 Airbus A320, 2 Airbus A330 and 8 ATR-72 500 aircraft. It is one of the most modern aircraft fleets in the world. Between 2013 and 2021, Cebu Pacific will take delivery of 15 more brand-new Airbus A320, 30 Airbus A321neo, and 4 Airbus A330 aircraft.