Alex Reyes: says the airline’s strategy aims to stimulate travel for the 200,000 Filipino workers in Qatar by offering a fare that is 50% lower than others.
By Peter Alagos
Budget carrier Cebu Pacific is expecting to generate more traffic with the introduction of affordable airfare and year-long promos for its Manila-Doha route, officially launched at the Hamad International Airport yesterday.
Alex Reyes, the general manager of Cebu Pacific’s Long Haul Division, said the airline’s strategy aims to stimulate travel for the 200,000 Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) in Qatar by offering a fare that is 50% lower than others.
“Aside from OFWs, part of our primary market is their families. The business plan has always been to look at countries in the Middle East where there is a big Filipino population, which means there’s already proven traffic going back and forth,” Reyes said in an interview with Gulf Times.
“Since airfares are expensive, some OFWs in Qatar travel every other year, but by lowering cost of travel, we could entice them to come home every year.
“And for those who come home on a yearly basis, affordable airfare could provide them the opportunity to travel back and forth twice or even thrice a year.”
Reyes also felt that lower airfares could also benefit OFWs with stringent work schedules.
“We make the fares more affordable so that OFWs could actually bring their families to Qatar on visit. That’s what we call the stimulation factor: travel cost is reasonably priced so that there are more passengers going both ways.”
He also noted that OFWs in Qatar would benefit from Cebu Pacific’s year-long airfare promos. For its Manila-Doha maiden flight, the airline offered seats for as low as QR88 for a travel period between June 4 and December 31 this year. The promotional fare, offered until March 22, was up to 95% lower than fares offered by other carriers.
“The whole strategy is that we will always have promos available. Because we want people to travel often, we try to get to a certain price point that will entice them to travel,” Reyes stated.
He also stressed that Cebu Pacific would give passengers the option to customise their travel experience through “ala carte pricing”.
“It’s the same business model and the same approach that we’ve done since the very beginning, and we’re very big believers in what we call ‘ala carte pricing’ – you only pay for the services and amenities that you need and that you value,” he said.
“It’s up to passengers to customise their travel experience with us. We’ll provide a very low base fare and if they don’t need the bag allowance, why pay for bags?
“Total travel cost is much lower compared to ‘buffet pricing’. It’s really up to the passengers how they want to stretch their travel budget.”
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