Cebu Pacific to suspend operations in Doha, Kuwait, Riyadh
May 24 2017 07:31 PM
A Cebu Pacific aircraft prepares to take off
A Cebu Pacific aircraft prepares to take off

Doha

Cebu Pacific Air (CEB) has announced that it will suspend its service to and from Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Kuwait.

CEB’s thrice-weekly Manila-Doha-Manila route will have its last flight on July 1, 2017, while its four-times-a-week service from Manila to Kuwait will be on June 13, 2017, and its Kuwait-Manila flight on June 14, 2017. CEB’s last flight from Manila to Riyadh will depart on July 2, 2017, while the Riyadh-Manila flight will leave on July 3, 2017.

In a route advisory, CEB said it is suspending operations to and from Doha “as these routes are no longer viable and sustainable.”

“Cebu Pacific will continue to operate its daily service between Manila and Dubai (UAE). We are contacting passengers who are affected by the suspension of CEB service. Passengers with bookings beyond the last flight dates on these affected routes are strongly advised to contact their travel agents or the CEB hotline at +632 7020 881 to discuss options.

“They may also message the official Cebu Pacific Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/cebupacificair) or Twitter (@CebuPacificAir) accounts. The options include: transfer to another airline with the same route (subject to availability), rebook to an earlier Cebu Pacific flight (subject to availability), refund in full, and get a travel fund in full,” the advisory said.

“The entry of Cebu Pacific into these markets benefitted passengers with lower fares and more choices. Of late, other carriers have aggressively added more flights, which has resulted in substantial oversupply of seats and fares that are so low, hence making the routes unsustainable,” said lawyer JR Mantaring, vice president for Corporate Affairs of Cebu Pacific.

“We have to continuously review our routes to ensure their viability. At this point, it makes more sense for us to re-deploy the aircraft used for our Riyadh, Doha, and Kuwait service to routes where we can further stimulate demand and sustain our low fare offers,” he added.

CEB will retain its other long-haul services to and from Dubai and Sydney, Australia, “with a view to increasing frequencies to these destinations in the future.” The airline also flies to 24 other international destinations across Asia and the US, as well as 37 domestic destinations.

From January to March 2017, Cebu Pacific carried 4.8mn passengers, of which 1.3mn flew international destinations. Total revenues for the first quarter of 2017 were up 4.7% to P16.9bn.

However, CEB said this was outpaced by the growth in expenses, driven by a weaker Philippine peso versus the US dollar and rising fuel prices. CEB net income for the first three month of 2017 was down 68% versus the same period in 2016.



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