BOI approves Php6.1 B air transport project

The Philippine Board of Investments (BOI) recently approved Cebu Air Incorporated’s Php6.1 billion air transport project under the public infrastructure and logistics activity of the 2017 Investment Priorities Plan (IPP).

The project involves the acquisition of one Airbus 330 (A330) aircraft on a finance lease scheme with Airbus SAS France to add to its current fleet of 58 aircraft. Cebu Air, which operates budget carrier Cebu Pacific, now has 4 A319s, 36 A320s, 8 A330s and 8 ATR 72-500s and 3 ATR 72-600s.  The A319 and A320 are short-to-medium range commercial passenger aircraft manufactured by Airbus with a maximum passenger capacity of 156 and 180, respectively. The A330 is a long range, twin aisle commercial passenger aircraft manufactured by Airbus with a maximum passenger capacity of 436. The ATR is a twin-turboprop commercial passenger single-class aircraft.

Commercial operation of the new aircraft has already begun in May 2017 servicing the Manila-Incheon (South Korea)-Manila and Manila-Bangkok (Thailand)-Manila routes and adding 186 new jobs to its current rooster of around 3,400 personnel.

“The growth of the air transport industry remains robust. This will allow Cebu Pacific to further expand its operation as a major budget carrier, stimulating passenger traffic growth with more affordable fares from these strategic routes. More tourists in Asian countries especially from Korea are expected to come in with this new project,” Trade Undersecretary and BOI Managing Head Ceferino Rodolfo said.

South Korea is the largest source of foreign tourist to date with 686,630 arrivals from January to May 2017, with a market share of 24 percent, according to figures from the Department of Tourism (DOT).  For the month of May, Korea registered 128,691 arrivals, a growth of 36 percent from May last year. Thailand produced over 20,000 arrivals for May alone. Since the start of 2017, Korea has been steadily producing over 100,000 visitors monthly up to May.

Overall, foreign tourist arrivals continue to grow. Around 2.9 million foreign visitors arrived in the first five months of 2017, a 14.4 percent increase from 2.5 million in the same period last year. Asia accounted for over 60 percent of the visitor volume or 1,750,419 arrivals. In May alone, visitor arrivals reached 532,757, up nearly 20 percent during the same month last year.

For 2017, the DOT continues to maintain its target of hitting 7 million tourist arrivals, up from nearly 6 million last year or an increase of 17 percent.

The government remains optimistic that it will attain the target of 12 million foreign tourist arrivals and 89 million domestic travelers by 2022, based on the National Tourism Development Plan (NTDP).

Cebu Air, Inc. is a registered airline company owned by JG Summit Holdings, Inc., one of the largest conglomerates in the country. Cebu Pacific, which started flying in 1996, pioneered the “low fare, great value” strategy in the aviation industry.  (END)