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New flight routes bring Cebu closer to East, West Visayas

By: Victor Anthony V. Silva November 20,2016 - 08:03 PM

Cebgo president and chief executive officer Alexander Lao. (CDN PHOTO/VICTOR SILVA)

Cebgo president and chief executive officer Alexander Lao. (CDN PHOTO/VICTOR SILVA)

Three new flight routes linking Cebu to the Eastern and Western Visayas regions are seen to bolster Cebu’s position as the “Queen City of the South.”
Alexander Lao, president and chief executive officer of Cebgo, a wholly-owned subsidiary of CEB, said Cebu is among their key hubs in the Philippines and is considered to be the largest base of operations outside Manila.

“(We are launching three new routes) to further increase the presence and (promote) the Queen City of the South as one of our key hubs in the Philippines,” Lao said during the inauguration of flights between Cebu and Calbayog, Cebu and Roxas, and Cebu and Ormoc on Saturday at the Mactan-Cebu International Airport (MCIA).

Over 4.4 million passengers were flown to and from the province in 2015 while Cebu routes cover close to 25 percent of the airline’s total seat capacity in the same year.

Lao said CEB flies an average of 400 flights and serve 50,000 passengers going to and from Cebu every week.

“We hope to hit close to three million in 2016,” he said.

With the addition of the new routes, CEB now has 25 domestic flights coming in and out of Cebu to cater to an increasing travel demand.

CEB offers daily flights for Cebu-Ormoc and Cebu-Roxas and four times weekly (Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, Sunday) for Cebu-Calbayog using ATR 72-500 aircraft.

Lao said they particularly chose to open flights to the three cities because of their growing population as well as thriving economy.

He said they also wanted to offer a safer, more convenient, and faster alternative to travel.

The official cited traveling via sea from Cebu to Ormoc, which normally takes around three hours, versus air travel with the new direct flight to the city at only 30 minutes.

Lao said this is also the company’s way to encourage more people to travel by air as in the Philippines, only 30 percent of the total population travel that way.

CEB now flies to 36 domestic destinations with hubs in Manila, Clark, Aklan, Iloilo, and Davao, 30 international destinations including the US, Australia, and the Middle East, totaling 102 routes with 4,700 flights per week on average.

Tourism Assistant Secretary Daniel Mercado, in his inauguration speech, said transport has become a fundamental pillar of global society.

“The growing availability of affordable air travel has widened aviation’s role in our sustainable society. Air travel is no longer a luxury commodity,” he said.

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TAGS: Airplane, Catbalogan, Cebu, Cebu Pacific, Leyte, Mactan Cebu International Airport, Ormoc City, Roxas

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