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Cebu pacific, Tiger Air tap into Manila-Phuket direct flight market

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Cebu pacific, Tiger Air tap into Manila-Phuket direct flight market | The Thaiger
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PHUKET: At about the same time that Tourism Malaysia announced the closing of its Phuket office (click here for story), another major Southeast Asian source-market is poised to link up with the “Pearl of the Andaman” – the Philippines.

As of this month and next, two regional airlines will service direct flights between Manilia and Phuket International Airport.

The Philippine’s largest national flag carrier, Cebu Pacific (CEB) pioneered the route, with the inaugural flight taking place on August 16, while recently rebranded budget airline, Tiger Airways Philippines will see its maiden Phuket flight depart from Manila on September 3.

Leading the way

“We are proud to be the first airline to offer direct services between Manila and Phuket, so more travellers can visit Phuket’s world-famous beaches,” said CEB VP for Marketing and Distribution Candice Iyog in a press release. Phuket is CEB’s 21st international destination.

“Similarly, foreign tourists now have the option to add Manila to their itinerary, after they visit Phuket. With CEB’s trademark lowest fares, this route can contribute to tourist arrivals to both Thailand and the Philippines,” he added.

CEB’s Manila-Phuket thrice weekly service will be every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. The maiden flight departed Manila at 8pm and arrived in Phuket at 11pm. The return flight departed Phuket the next day at 12am and arrived in Manila at 5:35am.

Phuket is CEB’s 2nd destination in Thailand, aside from Bangkok, where CEB operates 14 times weekly from Manila, Clark and Cebu. Lowest year-round fares to Phuket start at PHP3,499.

Sending off CEB’s first passengers to Phuket were His Excellency Prasas Prasasvinitchai, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Kingdom of Thailand, and Hon. Carmelo Arcilla, executive director of the Civil Aeronautics Board.

“I commend Cebu Pacific for their efforts to promote air linkage within the ASEAN region. Last year, Filipino travel to Thailand had increased by 8.25%. I do believe that Cebu Pacific has played an important part in that figure. This new route will bring even more visitors to Phuket,” said Ambassador Prasasvinitchai during the send-off program.

In the 1st half of 2013, CEB passengers to and from Thailand grew by 13.6%. It launched its direct twice weekly Cebu-Bangkok flights last December 9, 2012.

Hon. Arcilla said in his remarks, “I realize that Cebu Pacific now strikes fear in the heart of competition. They are now in the aviation map of the world, largely in part because of Cebu Pacific being a significant regional carrier.”

In the Philippines, CEB offers the most extensive network of 34 destinations and 62 routes. Aside from Phuket, it offers 21 other international destinations, including Dubai, Osaka, Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong and Seoul.

Arcilla added: “I ask Cebu Pacific to keep up the good work, of being a catalyst not only to the aviation industry but also to the economy at large. Because you and I know that air travel is a vital enabler of economic activity. There’s no doubt in my mind that the growth that we’re experiencing in our economy is due in part to the growth of Cebu Pacific in bringing people and goods across and providing convenience to the riding public.”

“I look forward to more destinations to be operated by Cebu Pacific, and rest assured of the support of the government in this endeavor,” he added.

Two better than one

Also looking to cash in on the Manila-Phuket route, budget airliner, Tiger Airways Philippines is offering a P3,499 (about 2,500 baht) round trip ticket for its inaugural flight from Manila to Phuket, Thailand, planned for September 3.

“We are happy to announce that effective September, we are flying to Phuket, Thailand twice a week every Tuesday and Saturday to accommodate as many passengers who wish to visit Phuket,” said Olive Ramos, CEO of TigerAir.

After rebranding as TigerAir Philippines on July 3, the Singapore-founded airline indicated that it planned to open new direct routes that would enable guests to travel faster and more conveniently to major destinations across Asia-Pacific.

On July 18, the airline launched the first and only direct flight between Kalibo and Singapore.

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Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

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The social media giants in battle with ‘old’ media and world governments | VIDEO

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The social media giants in battle with ‘old’ media and world governments | VIDEO | The Thaiger

“The rules signal greater willingness by countries around the world to rein in big tech firms such as Google, Facebook and Twitter that the governments fear have become too powerful with little accountability.”

India has issued strict new rules for Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms just weeks after the Indian government attempted to pressure Twitter to take down social media accounts it deemed, well, anti social.

The rules require any social media company to create three roles within India… a “compliance officer” who ensures they follow local laws; a “grievance officer” who addresses complaints from Indian social media users; and a “contact person” who can actually be contacted by lawyers and other aggrieved Indian parties… 24/7.

The companies are also being made to publish a compliance report each month with details about how many complaints they’ve received and the action they took.

They’ll also be required to remove ‘some’ types of content including “full or partial nudity,” any “sexual act” or “impersonations including morphed images”

The democratisation of the news model, with social media as its catalyst, will continue to baffle traditional media and governments who used to enjoy a level of control over what stories get told.

The battles of Google and Facebook, with the governments of India and Australia will be followed in plenty of other countries as well.

At the root of all discussions will be the difference between what governments THINK social media is all about and the reality about how quickly the media landscape has changed. You’ll get to read about it first, on a social media platform… probably on the screen you’re watching this news story right now.

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Turbulence ahead for Thailand’s aviation industry | VIDEO

The Thaiger

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Turbulence ahead for Thailand’s aviation industry | VIDEO | The Thaiger

When the airlines, in particular, were asking the government to put their hands in their pockets for some relief funding in August last year, it was genuinely thought that international tourists would be coming back for the high season in December and January. At the very least local tourists and expats would head back to the skies over the traditional holiday break. And surely the Chinese would be back for Chinese New Year?

As we know now, none of that happened. A resurge in cases started just south of Bangkok on December 20 last year, just before Christmas, kicking off another round of restrictions, pretty much killing off any possibility of a high season ‘bump’ for the tourist industry. Airlines slashed flights from their schedule, and hotels, which had dusted off their reception desks for the surge of tourists, shut their doors again.

Domestically, the hotel business saw 6 million room nights in the government’s latest stimulus campaign fully redeemed. But the air ticket quota of 2 million seats still has over 1.3 million seats unused. Local tourists mostly skipped flights and opted for destinations within driving distance of their homes.

As for international tourism… well that still seems months or years away, even now.

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Domestic air passenger numbers double those of January

Maya Taylor

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Domestic air passenger numbers double those of January | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Vietjet

Passenger numbers on domestic flights within Thailand have doubled within a month, rising from 4,000 in January to over 10,000 this month. Having nearly recovered to pre-pandemic levels, domestic travel plummeted once more when Covid-19 resurfaced late last year.

Apirat Chaiwongnoi from the Department of Airports says 15 of Thailand’s 29 airports are now operating domestic flights, with more expected to follow. He believes the aviation sector will continue to recover further in the coming 6 months, bolstered by the national vaccine rollout.

Around 120 domestic flights a day are now operating, which is twice the number that were operating at the lowest point in the crisis. Prior to the resurgence of the virus in December, domestic passenger numbers had recovered to 30,000 – 40,000 a day, around 80% of pre-pandemic numbers.

The DoA says airports must continue to adhere to the Covid-19 hygiene measures put in place by the Health Ministry and the Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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