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Philippine Airlines trails Cebu Pacific in Q1 domestic market

Aviation Updates Philippines - Although airlines registered no improvement in their load factor, domestic passenger traffic lifted an inch by 1.58 percent to 5.14 million in the first quarter of 2014 from 5.06 million in the same time in 2013 according to the data given by the Civil Aeronautics Board.

Philippine Airlines Airbus A330 (front) and Airbus A320 (back)
(PHOTO) Manuel Nierra - Aviation Updates Philippines

Meanwhile, eight airlines reported average seating capacity of 6.89 million and an average occupied seats of 75 percent. Cebu Pacific led the domestic market with 78 percent load factor. The airline remained the country's leading domestic carrier.

Cebu Pacific Air's passenger volume went up by 5 percent to 2.65 million passengers from 2.52 million passengers in the first quarter last year. "CEB (Cebu Pacific) attributes its passenger growth to increased presence in key markets, strategic seat sales offering the lowest possible fares and continuous network expansion," Jorenz Tanada, Cebu Pacific's vice president for corporate communications said in a text message to InterAksyon.

Meanwhile, the national flag carrier's domestic passenger volume fell by 50.4 percent to 367,653 in the first quarter. Last year, Philippine Airlines had 740,504 passengers in the first quarter. Load factor stayed by 71 percent.

Although Philippine Airlines' domestic passenger volume fell by 50.4 percent, PAL Express flew 1.29 million passengers from 1.05 million passengers last year. Load factor increased from 74 percent to 77 percent.

AirAsia Zest also reported an increase in domestic passenger volume. It went up to 514,761 passengers from 497,993 passengers in 2013. AirAsia Philippines flew 74,739 passengers in the first quarter.

The roaring tiger, which was acquired by Cebu Pacific last March, reported an increase to 216,169 passengers in 2014 from 209,979 passengers in the same time last year.

At the same time, SkyJet Airlines flew 3,768 passengers while Island Transvoyager flew 17,841 passengers.

Domestic Cargo Operations

Domestic Cargo also increased by 19 percent with a combination of 53.82 million kilograms carried by the eight domestic carriers. Cebu Pacific led the domestic cargo as it carried half of the domestic cargo industry at 25.89 million kilograms from 23 million kilograms last year. Philippine Airlines came to take the second place as it carried 20.97 million from 17.48 million last year.

AirAsia Zest's cargo went down to 4.17 million kilograms from 4.39 kilograms last year. Meanwhile, the affiliate AirAsia Philippines went up to 821,484 kilograms this year from 154,967 previously. Tigerair Philippines also carried 1.83 million kilograms from 93,518 last year.

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