(SPOT.ph) As quarantine restrictions ease in Metro Manila and various parts of the Philippines, more and more Filipinos are gearing up to travel again. "Revenge travel" is now a thing, and yes it means traveling with a vengeance after years of being cooped up at home given border closures. Budget airline Cebu Pacific is not only taking this chance to entice more passengers through their month-long anniversary seat sale but also getting everyone excited to go around the country now more than ever. Today, March 29, the local company celebrated the milestone of flying a total of 200 million passengers in their fleet by recognizing (and surprising) their 200th millionth passenger. The lucky "Juan," as Cebu Pacific likes to call their customers—mostly Filipinos, turns out to be Cebu resident Salbert Garces and he's getting free domestic flights for one whole year.
Garces' name was called on a flight from Manila to Cebu, where Cebu Pacific CEO Lance Gokongwei was also present to witness the momentous event. The passenger and crew were greeted with much festivity during touchdown on Mactan Island.
During a press briefing, Gokongwei emphasized their post-pandemic strategy to increase the frequency of their domestic routes. He said that they're expecting the aviation industry to recover through local flights, especially as Filipinos go home to finally see their families or conduct businesses all over the country.
"Our intention is really to accelerate the recovery of travel. Our first priority is to bring back our frequencies in domestic travel. We're already at 96% of our previous 2019 summer coverage, and the intention is to use our resources to really push our domestic beyond 100% as there are still some opportunities there," he said.
Xander Lao, Chief Commercial Officer of Cebu Pacific, seconded this and added: "For example, in Boracay, we used to be flying seven times per day from Manila to Caticlan. Today, we're flying around 16 times per day. So the focus, really, of Cebu Pacific is to try and grow back the domestic market. We are seeing a lot of people getting excited to travel. We are going to be investing primarily on domestic."
Cebu Pacific also banks on the idea that "traveling is a habit," said Gokongwei. Their current objective is to get people back on planes and have them get used to flying again. And given the influx of people at the airport in the past few days, Filipinos are definitely in the habit of traveling again.
We are now on Quento! Download the app and enjoy more articles and videos from SPOT.ph and other Summit Media websites.