Cebu Pacific mulls additional Japan flights

By Louella Desiderio

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Gokongwei-owned budget airline Cebu Pacific is looking to expand its operations in Japan by mounting flights from Manila to Haneda in Tokyo. File

MANILA, Philippines - Gokongwei-owned budget airline Cebu Pacific is looking to expand its operations in Japan by mounting flights from Manila to Haneda in Tokyo.

“We would like to expand our operations to Japan. We would like to operate to Haneda,” Paterno Mantaring, vice president for corporate affairs of Cebu Pacific, told reporters.

Cebu Pacific at present cannot operate flights to Haneda from Manila as it still has no entitlements from the government.

Mantaring said Cebu Pacific has asked the government to hold air talks with Japan for additional entitlements between Manila and Tokyo.

“We asked the government during the last air panel meeting to ask the government of Japan to allow air talks between the two countries. We’re waiting for a response from the government of Japan,” he said.

The last time the Philippine and Japanese governments had negotiations for an air services agreement was in 2013.

At that time, the two countries agreed to increase weekly flights between their  capital cities to 400 from 119.

Mantaring said Cebu Pacific is hopeful the air talks could be held soon so it could start operating flights to Haneda.

“It’s (Haneda) within the city so, it would be easier for the traveling public,” he said, adding Haneda is closer to Tokyo than Narita.

Philippine Airlines is currently the only local carrier with flights between Manila and Haneda.

Cebu Pacific has the following flights to Japan from Manila: three times weekly to Fukuoka; four weekly flights to Nagoya; five weekly flights to Osaka; and seven weekly flights to Tokyo (Narita).

It also has four weekly flights from Cebu to Tokyo (Narita).

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