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PAL-Cebu Pacific ‘dog fight’ rages as Visit Phils. ’03 starts
Source: Manila Bulletin
Author: Lynda B. Valencia
Date: 2003-01-15
With Visit Philippines 2003 (VP2003) now starting, two Philippine flag carriers are on the verge of offering foreign and local travelers the comfort and reliability of going to our local destinations.

Dominant Philippine Airlines (PAL) and second flag carrier Cebu Pacific are projected to cash in on the VP2003, which are expected to offer “competitive airfares” to entice tourists to travel by air.

PAL still remains the dominant airline in the domestic front even if the Gokongwei-led Cebu Air, Inc. which operates Cebu Pacific, claims it as fast eating into PAL’s market.

On the other h

nd, PAL president and CEO Avelino Zapanta, said more passengers will likely fly via PAL to visit local destinations because of its known reliability.

PAL, he said, will be offering promotional packages to encourage local and foreign tourists to travel but “we will not be selling tickets at bargain-basement prices”.

“Of course, they cannot claim to be beating us. We’re the dominant carrier.

They are not eating our market share,” Zapanta said.

PAL at present give special discounts to certain types of passengers and also has an ongoing “buy one, take one” promo.

The airline has 29 aircraft – 15 Airbuses and 14 Boeings.

At the same time Cebu Pacific president Lance Y. Gokongwei said that the airline has a definitive edge over PAL as the “low-cost, low-value airline proposit

ion”, adding “travelers now favor no-frills, low-value airlines.”

He said Cebu Pacific, the country’s second largest airline, also has numerous daily flights to various destinations.

On the other hand, Zapanta said Cebu Pacific had to either trim its flight frequencies to several destinations or cancel them altogether due to poor profits.

It will be recalled that the Laoag-Hong Kong ro

ute is among the routes Cebu Pacific has recently canceled.

PAL posted R946 million in income in the first half of the fiscal year beginning March 2002. Cebu Pacific has a net income of R80.8 million in 2001 with operating revenues up 28.4 percent to R3.76 billion. (PNA)


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