First Philippine Carrier to land in Dubai in 15 years
Dubai’s Filipino community was given a huge boost today as the Philippines’ largest airline touched down at Dubai International Airport for a new non-stop service to Manila. With an estimated half a million Filipinos living in the emirate, Cebu Pacific Air saw Dubai as the natural choice for its first ever low-cost, long-haul flight. Cebu Pacific is the first Philippine carrier to land in Dubai in 15 years.
The new daily service is a significant addition to Dubai’s linkages with Asia, giving half a million Philippine nationals more travel options when they return home once a year for holidays.
“Our goal has always been to combine low fares with great service,” said Alex Reyes, Long Haul Division General Manager, Cebu Pacific Air. “And by choosing Dubai as the first long haul destination, we are serving one of the largest Filipino expat communities in the world.”
The route is a milestone for the airline, which recently boosted its fleet to 47 aircraft by taking delivery of its second brand new Airbus A330-300. Cebu Pacific plans to have a wide-body fleet of eight aircraft.
“We are the Philippines’ first choice for all domestic and near-haul flights because of our low fares and convenient travel options,” Reyes added. “With CEB’s direct, non-stop service, flying Cebu Pacific is the fastest and most fun way to get home. In-flight, our passengers get to enjoy Filipino meals, fun games, and the unique brand of Filipino hospitality.”
As part of the celebrations surrounding its inaugural flight back to Manila, Cebu Pacific Air has also awarded free flights to 100 Filipinos in the Middle East who have been away from their homes and families for more than a year.
On its 17th year of operations, Cebu Pacific Air currently operates the most extensive route network in the Philippines. It also links the Philippines to 22 other international destinations in Asia. Official Philippine government figures put the number of tourists at a healthy 4.27 million for 2012. CEB’s new Dubai-to-Manila route, serviced using a 436-seat aircraft, will make the Philippines even more accessible as a tourist destination.
CEB’s fleet is comprised of 10 Airbus A319, 27 Airbus A320, 2 Airbus A330 and 8 ATR-72 500 aircraft. It is one of the youngest aircraft fleets in the world. Between 2013 and 2021, Cebu Pacific will take delivery of 15 more brand-new Airbus A320, 30 Airbus A321neo, and 4 Airbus A330 aircraft.