Despite a year of advances in its route network, passengers carried, and fleet upgrades, Philippine low-cost carrier Cebu Pacific reported a 50.6% loss in its net income in 2018 compared to the previous year.
In a statement during the weekend, Cebu Pacific reported its net income for 2018 at PHP 3.9 Billion, down from PHP 7.9 Billion in 2017. Among the reasons cited for the losses include higher fuel prices, weak Philippine peso, rising interest rates, new competition, and operational limits at key airports including the government imposed, six-month closure of the resort destination of Boracay to tourists. This loss in net income comes as Cebu Pacific saw its revenue grow to PHP 74.1 billion, and an increase in passengers carried (20.3 million) in 2018.
Cebu Pacific isn’t alone in rising fuel costs, as the fourth quarter of 2018 saw average jet fuel prices was USD $85.37 per barrel, up more than $20 from the same time period in 2017.
“Despite the pressures posed in 2018, we remained resilient. We were able to expand our network by upgauging our flights touching congested airports,” Cebu Pacific Chief Operations Officer Michael Ivan S. Shau said.
“We will continue to pursue our fleet upgauging strategy and invest in the latest aircraft technologies, as well as develop secondary hubs like Cebu and Clark. We will also continue to grow our cargo business with the incoming ATR freighters as well as continue our digital transformation for us to be more agile and adaptable to changing customer expectations,” added Shau.
2018 saw Cebu Pacific open up new flights out of its hubs of Clark and Cebu. The airline will expand its domestic flight network out of Clark, Pampanga with new connections to Iloilo, Bacolod, and Puerto Princesa later this year. From Cebu, a new route to China is currently in the works.
In addition to opening new flights out of its secondary hubs (Clark and Cebu), Cebu Pacific has welcomed new aircraft such as the Airbus A321neo in late 2018, that offers 236 seats – 56 more than the Airbus A320s used on most domestic and regional flights.