SINGAPORE - Budget carrier Cebu Pacific Air has launched a non-stop, long-haul service between Manila and Dubai, as it seeks to cater to the 500,000 Filipinos living in the emirate.
This makes Cebu Pacific the first Philippine carrier to operate to Dubai in 15 years.
"Our goal has always been to combine low fares with great service," said Alex Reyes, general manager (long haul) for Cebu Pacific. "
And by choosing Dubai as the first long-haul destination, we are serving one of the largest Filipino expat communities in the world.
We are the Philippines' first choice for all domestic and near-haul flights because of our low fares and convenient travel options."
The daily service is operated using a 436-seat Airbus A330-300 aircraft.
The privately owned budget airline, controlled by the Gokongwei family, had said previously that fares are expected to be up to 35 per cent cheaper than those offered by airlines currently serving the destination.
Cebu Pacific, which recently took delivery of its second A330-300, has a fleet of 47 aircraft made up of 10 Airbus A319s, 27 A320s, two A330s and eight ATR-72 500 aircraft.
It plans to beef up its fleet between now and 2021 as it takes delivery of 15 new A320s, 30 A321neos, and four A330 aircraft.
In an interview with BT last year, chief executive Lance Gokongwei said that it would launch long-haul, non-stop flights to destinations where large Filipino communities reside, such as Europe, the Middle East, Oceania and the US. This puts it head-to-head with other Asian budget carriers that operate long-haul routes, such as Scoot, Jetstar Asia and Malaysia's AirAsia X.
Now in its 17th year of operations, Cebu Pacific is the largest budget carrier in the Philippines and links the nation to 22 other destinations in Asia.
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