Cebu Pacific's load factor takes off as Metro Manila eases to GCQ

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, September 23) — Low-cost carrier Cebu Pacific has started seeing "green shoots" after the national government eased coronavirus rules in the capital region, a company executive said on Thursday.

During a virtual briefing, Candice Iyog, vice president for marketing and customer experience at Cebu Pacific, said passenger loads “have been improving gradually” since the government placed the capital region under the general community quarantine with Alert Level 4.

“We're seeing green shoots since the announcement of GCQ," the official said.

She noted that the airline’s load factor has been averaging “low to mid-50%” since the past week.

Iyog acknowledged that the number remains “very far” from Cebu Pacific’s pre-pandemic levels of 85%.

“But we’ll take it," she said. "That’s why we’re talking about how to simplify travel requirements.”

Iyog said the airline has been urging the national government to reduce the quarantine period for international travelers and drop the requirement for a negative COVID-19 test result for domestic tourists who are fully vaccinated against the virus.

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She said Cebu Pacific has no plans to conduct layoffs or reduce its 73-strong fleet as the airline is “cautiously optimistic” about its four-quarter operations.

“It’s easy to add capacity, we have the aircraft, we have the crew," Iyog said. "We are ready to ramp up as quickly as demand comes back.”

“We expect to fly 38% of our pre-covid capacity by October,” she added.

Cebu Pacific said it will increase its flights in October to Siargao, Boracay, and Bohol.

It said it will also resume its daily flights to Dubai, Japan, and Kuala Lumpur.