Cebu Pacific to cut rates to support domestic tourism amid coronavirus travel ban

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, February 19) — Local airline Cebu Pacific will reduce its year-round low fares over 70 domestic destinations to support the government’s initiative to promote domestic travel amid the international travel bans caused by the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

In a statement Wednesday, the airline stated that they will sell tickets for as low as ₱88 as base fare starting February 19. Flights with reduced fares include those originating from Manila, Cebu, Cagayan de Oro (Laguindingan), Davao, Iloilo, and Zamboanga.

Seats were also increased across flights from Manila, Cagayan de Oro, Davao, Cebu, Puerto Princesa, Iloilo and Bacolod; as well as between Cebu, Cagayan de Oro, Bacolod and Iloilo.

“We are one with the government and fellow tourism stakeholders during this challenging time. Through this increase in the supply of seats and fare reductions across our domestic route network, we hope to encourage Philippine residents to travel and explore the country,” said Cebu Pacific Vice President for Marketing and Customer Experience Candice Iyog.

According to Tourism Congress of the Philippines President Jojo Clemente III, the country may lose up to ₱20 billion if the novel coronavirus extends until March.

READ: PH tourism to lose ₱20-B due to novel coronavirus

Tourism Undersecretary for Tourism Development Benito Bengzon Jr told CNN Philippines that the government and the private sector are shifting their focus on the local market to cut the losses.

The country has recently lifted the temporary travel ban on Taiwan. Meanwhile, overseas Filipino workers were also permitted to go back to their places of employment in Hong Kong, and Macau.