Philippines budget carriers forced to cancel 149 flights to China

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QPTPC7MOBGPhilippine budget airlines Cebu Pacific and Tiger Airways Philippines have cancelled 149 chartered flights to and from mainland China starting this month after the Chinese government issued an advisory warning against travel to the Philippines.

Jorenz Tanada, vice president for corporate affairs of Cebu Pacific, said the cancellation of flights as requested by China-based companies from September to December would affect 24,138 passengers and forgo $6.5 million in potential tourism revenues.

“We estimate impact on tourism revenue would be $6.5 million, assuming tourists were to stay four days in the Philippines and spend an average of $66 per day,” he said.

However, Tanada clarified that the Gokongwei-led airline would continue to operate scheduled commercial flights from Manila to Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Xiamen.

“We regret that there is an existing travel advisory issued by the People’s Republic of China to the Philippines and hope that it will be lifted at the soonest possible time,” he added.

The Chinese government issued an advisory last September 12 warning its citizens not to travel to the Philippines after a Chinese teenager who worked in a family-run store was kidnapped.

The advisory was also issued amid plots that criminal groups are planning to attack the Chinese embassy and companies, as well as airports and shopping malls.

“Given that the safety situation in the Philippines is deteriorating, the consular service of the foreign ministry is asking Chinese nationals not to travel to the Philippines for the time being,” the advisory stated.

Tension between Manila and Beijing has been mounting the past few years due to territory disputes in the West Philippine Sea and South China Sea.
On September 16, low-cost carrier AirAsia Zest announced the indefinite suspension of Kalibo-Beijing and Kalibo-Shanghai routes starting September 18 due to the travel warning issued by the Chinese government.

“We have temporarily suspended our services for Kalibo (Boracay) to Shanghai and Beijing at the request of the company that charters our flights and in relation to the travel warning issued by the Chinese government,” the airline said.

The airline jointly owned by Philippines AirAsia and Zest Airways of Alfredo Yao, however, clarified that flights between Manila and China would not be affected.

Philippines AirAsia is a unit of low-cost carrier giant AirAsia Berhad of Malaysia that was named by the Center for Asia Pacific Aviation (CAPA) as the most profitable airline in Southeast Asia.

In its latest aviation analysis titled “Southeast Asian airlines: 80 per cent were unprofitable in the first half of 2014 but conditions are starting to improve,” CAPA said Malaysia AirAsia booked a net profit of $122 million in the first half of the year, followed by Cebu Pacific with $69 million and Philippine Airlines with $13 million.

On the other hand, Malaysia Airlines, which was hit by a series of accidents including the mysterious disappearance of MH370 and the shooting down of Flight MH17 in Ukrainian airspace, booked a net loss of $41 million.

The report said only five of the 17 publicly listed airlines in the region booked a net profit amounting to $372 million in the first half of the year.

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Reading Time: 2 minutes

Philippine budget airlines Cebu Pacific and Tiger Airways Philippines have cancelled 149 chartered flights to and from mainland China starting this month after the Chinese government issued an advisory warning against travel to the Philippines.

Reading Time: 2 minutes

QPTPC7MOBGPhilippine budget airlines Cebu Pacific and Tiger Airways Philippines have cancelled 149 chartered flights to and from mainland China starting this month after the Chinese government issued an advisory warning against travel to the Philippines.

Jorenz Tanada, vice president for corporate affairs of Cebu Pacific, said the cancellation of flights as requested by China-based companies from September to December would affect 24,138 passengers and forgo $6.5 million in potential tourism revenues.

“We estimate impact on tourism revenue would be $6.5 million, assuming tourists were to stay four days in the Philippines and spend an average of $66 per day,” he said.

However, Tanada clarified that the Gokongwei-led airline would continue to operate scheduled commercial flights from Manila to Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Xiamen.

“We regret that there is an existing travel advisory issued by the People’s Republic of China to the Philippines and hope that it will be lifted at the soonest possible time,” he added.

The Chinese government issued an advisory last September 12 warning its citizens not to travel to the Philippines after a Chinese teenager who worked in a family-run store was kidnapped.

The advisory was also issued amid plots that criminal groups are planning to attack the Chinese embassy and companies, as well as airports and shopping malls.

“Given that the safety situation in the Philippines is deteriorating, the consular service of the foreign ministry is asking Chinese nationals not to travel to the Philippines for the time being,” the advisory stated.

Tension between Manila and Beijing has been mounting the past few years due to territory disputes in the West Philippine Sea and South China Sea.
On September 16, low-cost carrier AirAsia Zest announced the indefinite suspension of Kalibo-Beijing and Kalibo-Shanghai routes starting September 18 due to the travel warning issued by the Chinese government.

“We have temporarily suspended our services for Kalibo (Boracay) to Shanghai and Beijing at the request of the company that charters our flights and in relation to the travel warning issued by the Chinese government,” the airline said.

The airline jointly owned by Philippines AirAsia and Zest Airways of Alfredo Yao, however, clarified that flights between Manila and China would not be affected.

Philippines AirAsia is a unit of low-cost carrier giant AirAsia Berhad of Malaysia that was named by the Center for Asia Pacific Aviation (CAPA) as the most profitable airline in Southeast Asia.

In its latest aviation analysis titled “Southeast Asian airlines: 80 per cent were unprofitable in the first half of 2014 but conditions are starting to improve,” CAPA said Malaysia AirAsia booked a net profit of $122 million in the first half of the year, followed by Cebu Pacific with $69 million and Philippine Airlines with $13 million.

On the other hand, Malaysia Airlines, which was hit by a series of accidents including the mysterious disappearance of MH370 and the shooting down of Flight MH17 in Ukrainian airspace, booked a net loss of $41 million.

The report said only five of the 17 publicly listed airlines in the region booked a net profit amounting to $372 million in the first half of the year.

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