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Philippines’ Cebu approved for European routes

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Cebu Pacific can now fly long-haul to Europe and US

The European Union has lifted its ban on the Manila-based airline Cebu Pacific flying to Europe. The move came a few hours after the US Federal Aviation Authority upgraded the Philippines’ status from Category 2 to 1.

This is a double aviation victory for the Philippines. It means that, like Philippine Airlines which was allowed to return to Europe last July, Cebu Pacific can now fly long-haul to both Europe and the US now that safety issues have been addressed.

Cebu president Lance Gokongwei said the airline would fly to the two continents within the year, eyeing Guam, Saipan and Hawaii in the US while still studying routes in Europe.

Cebu Pacific will buy 50 additional aircraft by 2021 for the US and European expansion, Gokongwei added.

Meanwhile, Ramon Ang, president of Philippine Airlines, said the legacy carrier would return to New York within the year, in addition to 26 weekly flights to Los Angeles, San Francisco, Honolulu and Guam.

The travel trade welcomed the developments. AA Yaptinchay, general manager of Kirschner Travel Manila, said: “Not only could we fly in more visitors with better schedules but also the presence of airlines from the Philippines would mean visibility and promotions to new markets in Europe and the US.”

TTG Asia

[pictured: Cebu Pacific Airbus A320-200]

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