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Cebu Pacific Airlines relaunches Melbourne-Manila direct service

written by Daniel Croft | January 24, 2023

Aussies are set to enjoy cheap direct flights to Manila with the Philippine’s top airline, Cebu Pacific, announcing the relaunch of its Melbourne to Manila service.

Cebu Pacific is set to relaunch the Melbourne to Manila service at the end of March, using the airline’s fleet of Airbus A330’s, which can carry between 436 and 459 passengers per aircraft. The route will operate three times a week.

“We know we have an expansive Filipino community in Melbourne and are pleased to be able to offer both them, as well as local Australians looking for somewhere new exciting to explore, the opportunity to fly direct to Manila and explore the Philippines with our widest domestic network,” said Pacific director for Corporate Communications at Cebu Pacific, Carmina Romero.

From January 16 to 31, customers looking to fly from Melbourne to Manila can grab one-way flights for $299. Tickets from Sydney to Manila will cost $309.


Tickets at these prices will have a travel period from January 16 to June 30, 2023.

The route was closed from late October 2022, with the airline citing “network-related schedule changes” as the issue.

Cebu Pacific first entered the Australian market in September 2014 with flights from Sydney before adding Melbourne as a second port in 2018, where it had three direct flights from Manila to Tullamarine a week.

The move for the airline to expand operations in Australia came as the Philippine and Australian governments made arrangements under a new air services agreement that would expand the number of seats available to Philippine carriers.

The number of seats was increased from 6,000 to 8,300 a week before being boosted again to 9,300 seats a week in 2016.

The Melbourne-Manila route had been underserved for many years compared to the route from Sydney.

Cebu Pacific’s resumption of the Melbourne-Manila route with cheap airfares is a stark contrast to other airlines who seem to be keeping capacity low and airfares high.

Aussie airlines are yet to meaningfully reach pre-pandemic capacities, resulting in an increase in demand versus supply alongside higher airfares.

The ACCC has recognised the difficulties airlines faced with high jet fuel costs and operational issues, but has said it is keeping an eye on airfares.

Further spurring on the push for increased capacity is Sydney Airport’s chief executive, Geoff Culbert, who has said that airlines need to ramp up capacity to restore the travel industry.

“Australia needs to unlock more capacity, and quickly, if we want to see a sustained recovery for our tourism, education, and export industries.”

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