Cebu Pacific sets its sights on Europe
MANILA, Philippines - Gokongwei-led budget carrier Cebu Air (Cebu Pacific) is eyeing long-haul flights to Europe and the United States.
Cebu Pacific president and chief executive Lance Gokongwei said they are planning to make a presentation to European Union authorities in November.
"We are planning to go to the EU this November, as you know we were planning to go in May but we decided to delay that. In November, we are going to make a formal presentation to EU authorities and we are likewise working towards a certification to be able to fly to Europe," he said.
Despite runway mishaps involving two of its planes last June, Gokongwei said Cebu Pacific is a safe airline and has complied with the Civil Aeronautics Board recommendations after the incident.
"Based on that, we continue to work towards to going to Europe in cooperation with the CAB and the other EU governments to make our case to the EU aviation sector this November," he said. But he declined to give details of its planned flights to Europe.
In July, the EU lifted the ban imposed in 2010, effectively allowing Philippine Airlines (PAL) to fly again in Europe.
The Cebu Pacific chief said the airline is also looking at mounting flights to the US, particularly Guam and Hawaii, once the Philippines' status is upgraded to Category 1 by the US Federal Aviation Administration (US-FAA) this year.
"For the US, there have been some pronouncements that Philippines expects to get out of Category 2 in the fourth quarter. At that point, we will probably look at certain routes in the US including Guam and Hawaii," Gokongwei said.