Budget airline Cebu Pacific has announced the launch of a new direct flight between Manila and Melbourne next month.
According to a statement issued by the airline today (Tuesday, July 24) the thrice-weekly service — the airline’s second Australian destination — will take flight on August 14.
Candice Iyos, vice president for marketing at Cebu Pacific, said: “Bookings for our Manila-Melbourne-Manila service are healthy. The bookings comprise of travellers who want to visit Melbourne and Filipino-Australians who want to visit friends and relatives in various parts of the Philippines.”
Seats on the new service start at 9,539 pesos — which the budget carrier says is about 60 per cent lower than with other airlines.
Cebu Pacific vice president for cargo, Alex Reyes, said: “The sustained growth of trade between the Philippines and Australia continues to fuel the demand for cargo space.
“As we enhance our freight capabilities in the Philippines, while offering low-cost and efficient transport of time-sensitive goods, we hope that this would entice more exports of Filipino products into Australia.”
Cebu Pacific started offering direct flights between Manila and Sydney in 2014. Since then, tourism between the Philippines and Australia has increased by an average of 16 per cent yearly — from about 186,000 in 2014 to more than 413,000 as of April.
Furthermore, Filipinos are one of the largest immigrant groups in Australia, numbering about 300,000 as of last year.
The airline flies five times weekly between Manila and Sydney, on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. The new Manila-Melbourne-Manila service will depart every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.
As we recently reported, the airline has announced that it is ready to “strictly enforce” its one hand-carry luggage policy. As of last Thursday (July 19), passengers are allowed just one carry-on bag with a maximum weight of seven kilograms and dimension of up to 56cm x 36cm x 23cm.