Paul Chai

Rejoice Melburnians because flying to the Philippines just got a whole lot easier with Cebu Pacific’s new direct flights from Victoria’s capital to Manila; special Agent rates to follow.

Golden balloons spelling out “CEB – MEL” greeted travellers on Cebu Pacific’s inaugural flight from Melbourne to Manila, which took off this week.

At the gate, the festivities continued with a buffet, traditional dance and an ice cream cart as well as speeches from dignitaries.

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Cebu Pacific entered the Australian market in 2014 with direct flights to Sydney, with Melbourne the next stop.

The non-stop service will operate three times per week departing Melbourne at 5.05pm, arriving into Manila at 11.15pm. The return flight will leave Manila at 6.05am and touch down in Melbourne at 3.50pm.

 

MANILA TO MELBOURNE SET TO DOUBLE

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Rick Howell, Chief Operations Adviser said Cebu Pacific was the only carrier to offer low-cost fares from Melbourne to Manila.

“The ‘Ceb Effect’ refers to the benefit that arrives from affordable, accessible flights,” Howell said as guests assembled at Melbourne Airport’s Gate 20. “After being in the Sydney market for six months, we saw a doubling of the number of seats from Melbourne to Manila, and we hope to achieve a similar result on this route.”

 

LOW COST, HIGH VOLUME

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While there are no specific rates yet for Travel Agents, wholesaler Philippine Tours said there are plans to extend Agents such offers in the future.

Cebu Pacific currently offers Melbourne to Manila one-way fare for as low as $290, about 50-60 percent lower than other airlines rack rates.

The airline’s 67-strong fleet – one of the youngest in the world – is comprised of five Airbus A321ceo, 36 Airbus A320, eight Airbus A330, eight ATR 72-500, and 10 ATR 72-600.

Flight 5J50 headed off from Melbourne to Manila at 5.05pm.

 

Have you been to the Philippines?