CebuPac: Q2 travelers up YoY but still below pre-pandemic levels

By Ma. Cristina Arayata

August 10, 2023, 7:10 pm

<p>(<em>File photo</em>)</p>

(File photo)

MANILA – Low-cost carrier Cebu Pacific (CEB) announced Thursday that passenger traffic in the second quarter has increased year-over-year (YoY) but is 8 percent lower than the pre-pandemic levels.

The Gokongwei-led airline ferried 5.46 million passengers, 29 percent higher compared to the same period last year. Total flights flown during the second quarter was 36,300, or 22 percent higher YoY.

Total flights is just below 1 percent of the figure in the second quarter of 2019.

Average load factor, on the other hand, is 4 percent short of the 90 percent load factor pre-pandemic. The average seat load factor reached 86 percent compared to 77 percent in the same period last year.

"Overall improvement in passenger business was seen year on year especially as most international destinations have eased travel restrictions since last year. Passengers, however, were still 8 percent below pre-pandemic levels, as short haul international travel remained well below 2019," CEB said in a news release.

CEB also pointed out the industry challenges and weather-related issues the airline had experienced this year. Earlier, the airline cited fleet availability issues and delay in engine repairs as among the reasons for long flight delays and cancellations.

Ground damage from runway debris that created additional long-term grounded aircraft, and the rainy season were other reasons cited by the Gokongwei-led airline.

Despite the challenges and the PHP1.9 billion net loss in the second quarter of 2022, CEB reported its net income for the same period in 2023 reached PHP2.7 billion.

Total revenue for the second quarter is PHP22.7 billion, 62 percent higher YoY but 4 percent below pre-pandemic.

Operating expenses, meanwhile, totaled PHP20.2 billion, or 20 percent up YoY and 9 percent higher than 2019. These were driven by the increase in fuel prices, aircraft maintenance, and other fleet-related costs, CEB said. Operating income for the second quarter was over PHP2.5 billion, a reversal from last year’s loss of over PHP2.8 billion, and a 50 percent recovery of operating income for the same period in 2019.

CEB has recovered back to positive equity of PHP726 million in the first half of 2023. Total assets stood at PHP165 billion, covering its fleet of 80 aircraft, the airline said. (PNA)