CEB sees return to profit by Q1

Obviously, in March, we did not operate much, and in February, we felt the initial effects of the restrictions

Gokongwei-led budget air carrier Cebu Pacific intends to return to profitability by as early as the first quarter of the year amid restoration of its pre-Covid capacity as the industry recovers from the global health crisis.

“By the first quarter, we aim and hope to be profitable. That will be the first quarter (that we will return to profitability) since the first quarter of 2020 when we had.” Cebu Pacific president and chief commercial officer Xander Lao told reporters at a press conference on Wednesday.

“Obviously, in March, we did not operate much, and in February, we felt the initial effects of restrictions,” he added.

Lao said the company does not need to raise additional capital to support its growth plans.

He also reiterated that the losses incurred due to the recent shutdown of the country’s air traffic system, which suspended flights last 1 January, will not affect the company’s recovery.

Losses run to P100M

“The Civil Aeronautics Board said the estimated losses of airlines is roughly P100 million. What’s important is that we can recover the operations quickly. We dealt with it and it won’t impact our recovery,” he said.

For this year, Cebu Pacific earmarked P42 billion for its capital expenditure program, the bulk of which will finance the delivery of new aircraft.

As part of its sustainability thrust, the airline said all deliveries will use blended Sustainable Aviation Fuel or SAF on top of targeting to operate an all-NEO fleet by 2028. The airline also aims to utilize SAF by launching green routes by 2025 and using SAF for its entire network by 2030.

Cebu Pacific became the first low-cost carrier in Southeast Asia to incorporate SAF into its operations when it took delivery of its third A330NEO in May last year.

To date, Cebu Pacific has restored over 100 percent of its pre-pandemic domestic capacity, surpassing the airline’s December 2019 level. The airline also expects to fully restore its flights to all its 25 international destinations in 14 countries by March.

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