The Philippines' leading carrier, Cebu Pacific Air (PSE: CEB), saw passenger growth bounce back in April, as summer went into full swing and on the back of the traditional Lenten break and four-day long Labor-Day weekend.
Total passenger traffic of CEB and wholly owned subsidiary Cebgo reached 1.817 Million in April 2017, up 2.6% versus the same month last year. For the first four months of 2017, CEB and Cebgo carried a total of 6.63 Million passengers, reversing the decline in the first quarter of 2017.
Capacity grew 4.2% in April, bringing total growth in the number of seats sold to 3.3% from January to April 2017. Seat Load Factor reached 88.6% in April 2017, bringing the four-month total to 85.1%. CEB ramped-up capacity this year to support domestic destinations such as Siargao, Masbate and Tablas in Romblon. The carrier also expanded its Visayas-Mindanao route network with direct flights from Cagayan de Oro to Tagbilaran and Bacolod.
"To reach our goal of flying 20 million passengers this year, we remain committed to expanding our domestic route network, where we lead with 37 destinations; and looking at opportunities to grow our international market where we can meet rising demand and sustain our year-round low fare proposition," said Atty JR Mantaring, Vice President for Corporate Affairs of Cebu Pacific.
For the first quarter of 2017, CEB revenues reached P16.864 Billion, a 4.7% increase year-on-year, driven by growth in ancillary and cargo revenues. However, the growth in costs outpaced that of revenues, bringing net income for the first three months of 2017 to P1.283 Billion, versus P4.037 Billion in earnings in the same quarter last year.
CEB announced five new routes, due to start commercial operations next month. Starting July 26, 2017, CEB will fly three times weekly (Monday, Wednesday, and Friday) between Cebu and Masbate, Davao and Dumaguete, and Zamboanga and Cotabato. Cebgo will also begin flying four times a week (Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday) between Cagayan de Oro and Zamboanga, and Davao and Tacloban on July 27, 2017. The new routes will be serviced by the Cebgo fleet of ATR aircraft.