The Philippines’ largest budget carrier, Cebu Pacific (PSE:CEB) pioneered direct flights between the Philippines and Phuket, Thailand’s largest island, last August 16, 2013.
Phuket is CEB’s 21st international destination.
“We are proud to be the first airline to offer direct services between Manila and Phuket, so more travelers can visit Phuket’s world-famous beaches. Similarly, foreign tourists now have the option to add Manila to their itinerary, after they visit Phuket. With CEB’s trademark lowest fares, this route can contribute to tourist arrivals to both Thailand and the Philippines,” said CEB VP for Marketing and Distribution Candice Iyog.
CEB’s Manila-Phuket thrice weekly service will be every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. The maiden flight departed Manila at 8pm and arrived in Phuket at 11pm. The return flight departed Phuket the next day at 12am and arrived in Manila at 5:35am.
Phuket is CEB’s 2nd destination in Thailand, aside from Bangkok where CEB operates 14 times weekly from Manila, Clark and Cebu. Lowest year-round fares to Phuket start at PHP3,499.
Sending off CEB’s first passengers to Phuket were His Excellency Prasas Prasasvinitchai, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Kingdom of Thailand, and Hon. Carmelo Arcilla, executive director of the Civil Aeronautics Board.
“I commend Cebu Pacific for their efforts to promote air linkage within the ASEAN region. Last year, Filipino travel to Thailand had increased by 8.25%. I do believe that Cebu Pacific has played an important part in that figure. This new route will bring even more visitors to Phuket,” said Ambassador Prasasvinitchai during the send-off program.
In the 1st half of 2013, CEB passengers to and from Thailand grew by 13.6%. It launched its direct twice weekly Cebu-Bangkok flights last December 9, 2012.
Hon. Arcilla said in his remarks, “I realize that Cebu Pacific now strikes fear in the heart of competition. They are now in the aviation map of the world, largely in part because of Cebu Pacific being a significant regional carrier.”
In the Philippines, CEB offers the most extensive network of 34 destinations and 62 routes. Aside from Phuket, it offers 21 other international destinations, including Dubai, Osaka, Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong and Seoul.
Arcilla added, “I ask Cebu Pacific to keep up the good work, of being a catalyst not only to the aviation industry but also to the economy at large. Because you and I know that air travel is a vital enabler of economic activity. There’s no doubt in my mind that the growth that we’re experiencing in our economy is due in part to the growth of Cebu Pacific in bringing people and goods across and providing convenience to the riding public.”
“I look forward to more destinations to be operated by Cebu Pacific, and rest assured of the support of the government in this endeavor,” he added.
For bookings and inquiries, guests can go to www.cebupacificair.com, or call their nearest travel agents. The latest seat sales can also be found on CEB’s official Twitter and Facebook pages.
CEB currently operates 10 Airbus A319, 27 Airbus A320, 1 Airbus A330 and 8 ATR-72 500 aircraft. Its fleet of 46 aircraft is one of the most modern aircraft fleets in the world. Between 2013 and 2021, Cebu Pacific will take delivery of 15 more Airbus A320, 30 Airbus A321neo, and 5 Airbus A330 aircraft.