Cebu Air Inc. said Friday net income in the first quarter of the year jumped 81 percent mainly due to higher passenger traffic and cheaper fuel costs.
The airline company owned by industrialist John Gokongwei said net profit amounted to P4.04 billion in the January-to-March period from P2.23 billion in the same period last year.
The parent company of Cebu Pacific said revenues rose 13 percent to P16.11 billion from P14.20 billion last year.
Passenger revenues grew 11 percent to P12.02 billion in the three months ending March from P10.81 billion posted in the same period last year.
The increase was mainly attributable to the 13 precent increase in passenger volume to 4.8 million from 4.3 million in 2015, driven by the increased number of flights in 2016.
Cebu Air’s number of flights rose 1.8 percent year-on-year as the group added more aircraft to its fleet. Cebu Pacific Group’s aircraft stood at 56 aircraft as of March.
The company’s cargo revenues increased 8.3 percent to P836.427 million from P772.545 million last year.
The group incurred operating expenses of P11.888 billion, higher by 4.6 percent from P11.368 billion recorded last year.
Cebu Pacific said the higher expenses were due to the increase in majority of the group’s operating expenses driven by its expanded operations, growth in seat capacity from the acquisition of new aircraft and the weakening of the Philippine peso against the US dollar.
The peso depreciated to an average of 47.27 per US dollar for the three months ending March 31 from an average of P44.42 last year.
“The increase was however partially offset by the substantial drop in fuel costs compared to the same period last year due to the sharp decline in global jet fuel prices,” Cebu Pacific said.
Cebu Pacific group’s flying operations expenses fell 13 percent to P4.474 billion in the first quarter from P5.144 billion incurred in the same period last year.
This is primarily attributable to the 16.7 percent decline in aviation fuel expenses to P3.6 billion in the first quarter from P4.325 billion for the same period last year.
Jet fuel prices dropped to $42.10 per barrel in the three months from $68.98 per barrel in 2015.
Cebu Pacific earlier said the opening of new destinations such as Guam will enable the airline to increase passengers by 9 percent to nearly 20 million in 2016.
“This year, I think in terms of target, we are looking at close to 20 million passengers,” Cebu Air Inc. vice president for marketing and distribution Candice Iyog said.
Cebu Pacific carried 18.4 million passengers, including those of unit Cebgo in 2015.
Iyog said the growth in passenger volume this year would be driven by the airline’s new domestic and regional routes.
Cebu Pacific launched flights from Cebu to Taipei, Davao to Singapore and Manila to Fukuoka, Japan in the latter part of 2015.
Iyog said the airline was also looking at flying to New Delhi in India, Hokaido in Japan and Perth in Australia.