Cebu Pacific will start in August to fly three times a week between Manila and Melbourne, its second destination in Australia. The airline will use an Airbus A330-300 and will officially launch the route on August 14, 2018. According to studies, demand between Manila and Melbourne is estimated at over 105,000 passengers a year.
The budget carrier will celebrate in 2018 its fourth year of presence in Australia. Cebu Pacific launched in 2014 its first Australian route from Manila to Sydney. The airline flies currently that route up to five times per week but plans to upgrade its Sydney route to a daily frequency.
Since Cebu Pacific arrived in the Australian market, tourist arrivals from the Philippines has become one of the fastest-growing source markets for Australia, with an average 16 percent increase over the past four years.
Prior to the entry of Cebu Pacific, tourist arrivals from the Philippines was at about 70,000. Since 2014, that number has steadily climbed to 120,000.
The expansion of the Australian routes forms part of the carrier’s change in strategy, shifting capacity from Middle East to Asia and Australia. After flying in the past up to six routes to the Gulf, Cebu Pacific flies this day only one route from Manila to Dubai.
Targeting Asia, Melbourne is a perfect fit as it is a multicultural city with a strong Chinese community. Cebu will look to capture a small proportion of the connecting flows from China through Manila.
Cebu Pacific is not the only one to boost connectivity top Australia. National carrrier Philippine Airlines is planning to expand its presence down under from this spring. According to the latest airline’s schedules planning, the carrier will turn its Manila-Darwin-Brisbane service into a non-stop service between the Philippines capital and Brisbane.
Starting March 25, PAL will operate three times a week non-stop with an Airbus A340-300. From May 1st 2018, the airline will then switch its service to a brand new Airbus A321neo, offering four weekly services. The A321neo will offer 12 seats in Business Class and 156 seats in Economy.