Travellers between China’s bustling southern boomtown Shenzhen and the Philippine capital Manila are set to get a new low-cost flight option from July 2.
Cebu Pacific is launching a direct service between the cities in line with its plan to expand its route network in China. Shenzhen is the fifth Cebu Pacific destination in mainland China and is the airline’s 27th international destination.
Flights between Shenzhen and Manila will run four times weekly – every Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday.
The outbound flight to Manila departs Shenzhen at 0340, arriving at 0620. The return flight from Manila departs at 2355 and arrives at 0235 the next day.
“Manila is considered the gateway to connect to many other destinations in the Philippines and the early timings of the flights have also taken into account travellers’ need to board connecting flights to other business hubs like Cebu or Davao and vice versa for Shenzhen,” a Cebu Pacific spokesperson told Business Traveller Asia-Pacific. The spokesperson added that the new route will be permanent “as the airline looks to expand in North Asia”.
The route will be operated by A320 aircraft, with 180 seats all in economy class, the spokesperson confirmed.
At the moment, the only direct flight option between Shenzhen and Manila is also with a low-cost carrier, Philippines Airasia. Several full service carriers can also get you there – including Air China, Asiana Airlines, China Eastern, Korean Air and Singapore Airlines – but they require often long stopovers and a change of planes in their respective hubs.
“We want to provide our travellers a viable option to reach Shenzhen, which is one of the most crucial commercial centres in the world. Shenzen is an important destination for both business travellers and visitors, and we remain constant in our mission to enable lively trade and tourism through compelling fare deals that gives value for money,” said Candice Iyog, vice president for marketing and distribution of Cebu Pacific.
To mark the launch of the new route, seats on the Shenzhen-Manila flights will be sold for as low as 1 RMB (US$0.14) base fare until June 11, 2019. The travel period is from July 1 to October 26, 2019.
It’s worth noting that on top of the base fare, passengers can expect to pay significantly more than 1 RMB. When Business Traveller Asia-Pacific tried booking a return flight on this route via Cebu Pacific’s website for the first week of its operation, we were also asked to pay 116 RMB (US$16.74) as an “Administrative Fee”, a 90 RMB (US$12.99) fuel surcharge, a 90 RMB (US$12.99) airport fee and a 73.25 RMB (US$10.57) “PH Passenger Service Charge”. The total cost of the flight came to 570.25 RMB (US$82.27).
Currently, Cebu Pacific flies 23 times weekly between the Philippines and mainland China, with direct flights between Shanghai, Manila and Cebu; as well as Manila and Beijing, Guangzhou and Xiamen. CEB also flies 55 times weekly between Hong Kong and Manila, Cebu, Clark and Iloilo and 20 times weekly between Macau and Manila, Clark and Cebu. The carrier also flies 14 times a week between Manila and Taipei.