BUDGET carrier Cebu Pacific has become more bullish with the Australian market after outperforming its key competitors in the Manila-Sydney route in 2017, signaling that it is also set to do well with its forthcoming launch of services to Melbourne.
Citing data from Australia’s Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics, Cebu Pacific Vice President Candice Iyog said her group cornered 40 percent of the Manila-Sydney market last year.
Out of the 408,034 passengers who flew between Manila and Sydney in 2017, Cebu Pacific flew a total 164,565 passengers, as it offered the most number of seats between the two cities.
It is also the only low-cost carrier operating the route with five weekly flights.
Trailing behind Cebu Pacific are Philippine Airlines with a 33-percent market share, and Qantas with a 26-percent share.
“We’re thrilled to have maintained our position as the key player on the Sydney-Manila route,” she said. “Our consistent growth in the Australia market augurs well for the impending launch of our direct service between Manila and Melbourne later this year.”
The carrier is set to launch its thrice weekly Manila-Melbourne service on August 14.
In terms of air-freight services, the Bitre report showed that cargo volume grew 42 percent year-on-year, from 7,390 tons carried in 2016 to 10,495 tons in 2017, with Cebu Pacific garnering a 39.12-percent market share.
Total cargo flown by the airline between Sydney and Manila reached 4,106 tons in 2017, up 68 percent year-on-year.
“The strong performance of freight services between the Philippines and Australia is consistent with the sustained growth in the two-way trade between the two countries,” Cebu Pacific Vice President for Cargo Alex Reyes said.
Consumer spending and capital formation have fueled demand for cargo capacity, he noted.
“We are optimistic that the expansion of e-commerce and the growing need for low-cost and efficient transport of time- and temperature-sensitive goods will continue to fuel our growth in the near to medium term,” Reyes added.
The Philippines is also a signatory to the Asean-Australia-New Zealand Free Trade Area, which has opened opportunities in trade and investments.
Main exports of Australia include beef, lamb, wine and wheat, as well as consulting and engineering services; while those of the Philippines include heating and cooling equipment, electrical machinery and parts, mechanical machinery, pumps, coconut and rubber tires.
There are about 200 Australian companies operating in the Philippines in the business-process outsourcing, finance, oil and gas, manufacturing and infrastructure sectors.