Cebu Pacific is targeting for passenger numbers to hit 22 million in 2018, a 12% increase from the year before.
Last year, the Philippine low-cost carrier handled 19.7 million passengers, a 3% year-on-year increase, largely driven by an 8% growth in the number of international passengers. Performance was strong in its key markets of Sydney, Dubai, Hong Kong, Tokyo Narita, Taipei, and Seoul.
“To reach our goal of flying 22 million passengers this year, we remain committed to offering a compelling route network where we can meet rising demand and sustain our year-round low fare proposition,” says JR Mantaring, the airline’s vice-president for corporate affairs.
He adds that despite the higher fuel price, the weakening of the Philippine peso against the US dollar, security concerns and travel advisories, the carrier has “remained relatively resilient”.
This year, the carrier is scheduled to add seven A321s from March through September, before its first Pratt & Whitney PW1100G-powered A321neo is delivered in November. These large narrowbodies will add capacity and also free up some A330s that are used on short-haul services to go further afield.
Two of these A321s have already been delivered, while another three are scheduled to arrive “in the coming days”.
Last year, operating profit slipped 17.3% to Ps10.1 billion ($194 million), as the growth in expenses outpaced that of revenue. Net profit fell 18.9% to Ps7.91 billion.