By: Air Traveller PH Staff
Local airlines Cebu Pacific and Philippines AirAsia are boosting its domestic flights in order to support the Philippine government's push to drive local tourism and also to alleviate the impact of lower international travel demand brought by the spread of the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19).
Cebu Pacific has announced that it is cutting its fares to 70 domestic destinations. Base fares will go as low as Php 88 for its flights originating from Manila, Cebu, Davao, Cagayan De Oro, Iloilo, and Zamboanga.
In a statement, Cebu Pacific Vice President for Marketing and Customer Experience Candice Iyog said, "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."
Philippines AirAsia is adding more flights to Mindanao from its Clark and Cebu hubs. The airline has announced the addition of flights to General Santos City and Zamboanga beginning March 29. Philippine Airlines is adding services between Manila and Pagadian which will begin on March 1. On the other hand, PAL is launching its newest international flight between Manila and Perth, Australia this March.
While the COVID-19 situation is taking a toll on the airlines' international travel finances as airlines have cut flights to mainland China, domestic travel is now a growing opportunity. The Philippines' Department of Tourism (DOT) has been coordinating with airlines to "cushion the blow" of the slowdown on tourist arrivals brought by the outbreak. The situation has also become a window for the DOT to promote local tourism in which our local airlines do play an important role.