Cebu Pacific Air (CEB) has taken two major steps in its long-haul expansion plan, with the launch of flights to Kuwait and the arrival of a new wide-body aircraft.
The new Kuwait route departed Manila for the first time on 2 September 2014 and will now operate three times a week direct to the Middle Eastern country, every Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday.
“We are proud to offer our kababayans (overseas Filipino workers), the fastest, most affordable way to come home. Through Cebu Pacific’s… direct, non-stop service, we hope that they get to enjoy being around their loved ones more often,” said Alex Reyes, general manager of CEB’s long-haul division.
The low-cost carrier launched its first ever long-haul route late last year, connecting Manila with Dubai. And this expansion has been enabled by the addition of a new fleet of wide-body Airbus A330-300 aircraft, which seat up to 436 passengers – more than some Airbus A380s.
The latest of these long-haul jets touched down in the Philippines this week, boosting the CEB’s total fleet size to 53 aircraft, including five A330s.
And the airline’s long-haul expansion will continue next week when CEB launches its first ever flights to Australia. Direct flights from Manila to Sydney will commence on 9 September 2014.
CEB has already said it plans to expand its long-haul network even further, to destinations in Europe and the Pacific, and it recently secured permission to fly to New Zealand.
The low-cost carrier is in direct competition with Philippine Airlines, which is also in the process of expanding its fleet and route network. Both airlines were recently removed from the EU’s aviation blacklist, and the Philippines has also had its safety rating raised by the US, allowing airlines to add extra services to the country.