Cebu Pacific (CEB), the Philippines’ single largest domestic airline and
biggest carrier to the ASEAN region, can exceed its goal to carry seven million
passengers this year if it is allowed to match the Clark-Hong Kong service of
Hong Kong Express that started last week.
Candice Iyog, CEB vice president for marketing and product, said “It is
unfortunate that a Filipino airline does not have the same privilege a foreign
airline enjoys in the Philippines.”
CEB’s application last year to fly from Clark to Hong Kong, among other
destinations, was turned down by the Hong Kong Civil Aviation due to the lack
Hong Kong Express, however, can mount the same service because of Executive
Order 500A which virtually opened up Clark to foreign carriers.
“But the favor has not been returned. In our case, the foreign governments
turned down our application to fly from Clark, making it a nonviable 4th hub for
CEB at this time. We would like to see reciprocity and fairness.” she said.
Iyog added that making Clark the staging point for various international
destinations is strategically important since
- Those from northern Luzon do not have to travel all the
way to Manila to catch their international flights
- This will unlock economic opportunities in the North
- This will prepare Clark for its eventual expanded role
as an international gateway.
She said that CEB has always been for reciprocal open skies and agreeable to
a competitive set-up because this would give the Philippine carriers the same
opportunity being given to foreign carriers in vying for passengers and
operating new routes.
Now in its 13th year, CEB continues to have the youngest fleet in the
Philippines. It flies to 12, soon to be 15 international destinations, with the
addition of Ho Chi Minh, Hanoi, and Kaohsiung. CEB also operates flights to 21