Cebu Pacific has overtaken rival Philippine Airlines as the country’s largest airline in terms of passengers flown on domestic routes, the Civil Aeronautics Board.
Data from the CAB showed the budget airline owned by industrialist John Gokongwei carried 8.44 million passengers in the January-to-September period, up by 0.8 percent from 8.37 million passengers in the same period last year.
Cebu Pacific cornered 50.94 percent of the domestic market.
Cebgo, formerly Tigerairways Philippines, reported total domestic passengers of 1.38 million during the period, higher by 57 percent from 878,681 passengers last year.
Rival Philippine Airlines posted total domestic passengers of 1.18 million in the first nine months, up 221 percent from 367,653 passengers last year.
PAL’s sister company PAL Express carried 3.60 million passengers in the January-to-September period, up 179.06 percent from 1.29 million passengers last year.
Air Asia Inc. flew 272,755 passengers, up 23 percent from 221,431 passengers.
AirAsia Zest, meanwhile, carried 1.61 million passengers, up 17.5 percent from last year’s 1.37 million passengers.
The total domestic passengers in the January-to-June period stood at 16.57 million, an increase of 31.9 percent from last year’s
In terms of cargo, the local airlines carried a total 196.82 million kilograms in the first nine months of the year.
Of the total, Cebu Pacific carried 82.51 million kilograms, followed by PAL Express, 51.63 million kgs; PAL, 34.51 million kgs; Cebgo, 15.78 million kgs; AirAsia Zest, 10.72 million kgs; and AirAsia, 1.24 million kgs.
Cebu Pacific earlier asked the Civil Aeronautics Board to reallocate the unused seat entitlements to United Arab Emirates previously granted to rival PAL Express.
Cebu Air requested the reallocation of seven weekly frequency entitlements to UAE from the unutilized frequency entitlements previously allocated to PAL Express.
PAL Express, however, said it was evaluating the possibility of operating the routes to the UAE.
“We are keen on keeping our seven weekly frequency entitlements to the UAE,” PAL Express said.
PAL Express operated the Manila to Dubai route from November 2013 to March 2015.
Cebu Pacific has seven weekly flights to Dubai, three weekly flights to Riyadh, four weekly flights to Kuwait and two weekly flights to Doha in Qatar.