THE Philippine budget carrier Cebu Pacific launched its maiden flight between Manila and Guam on March 15, propelling a new air service that is touted to be a game-changer in the market. The first low-cost carrier servicing the Manila-Guam flight, Cebu Pacific is the latest addition to the roster of Guam’s signatory carriers. It currently offers promo fares that are up to 83 percent lower than Philippine Airlines and United Airlines, whose prices range from US$350 to nearly US$500 depending on the season.
With an introductory fare that starts at $40, (available until Nov. 29), Cebu Pacific becomes the cheapest way for Philippine travelers to come to Guam. Its foray into the market has forced United and PAL to rethink their air fares. “This means that the Philippines is now more accessible and lot more affordable,” said Candice Iyog, Cebu Pacific’s vice president for marketing and distribution. Prior to Cebu Pacific’s entry into the Guam market, there were approximately 5,900 weekly seats available between Guam and Manila.
Cebu Pacific operates four times a week, using the airline’s brand-new 180-seater Airbus A320 fleet. With 1,440 weekly seats added to the pool, Cebu Pacific is expected to boost air traffic between the two countries further. “We talk about Guam being the America in Asia. Cebu Pacific is just a stepping stone to our expansion to the Asia Pacific region,” Guam Gov. Eddie Calvo said during the inaugural ceremony held at the AB Won Pat International Airport. The evolution of Guam tourism is parallel to the history of aviation on island.
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