The EU has removed Philippine low-cost carrier (LCC) Cebu Pacific (CEB) from its blacklist, thereby allowing the carrier to fly and operate services into its airspace. The airline is the second Philippines-based carrier to be exempted from the ban, after Philippine Airlines (PAL; see here).
“We welcome this development, as it is a testament to CEB’s commitment to safety and full compliance with international aviation safety standards. This would not have been possible without the full support of the Philippine government, and especially the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines,” said Lance Gokongwei, Cebu Pacific president and chief executive.
Currently, the European Commission (EC) maintains a list of airlines in 20 states that are banned from operating in the EU. While the Philippines is still included, both CEB and PAL are now exempted from the ban. Other countries that are either wholly or partially banned from operating in the EU include Indonesia, Kazakhstan and Afghanistan.
“The decision of the EC to lift the ban on CEB shows the ability of Philippine authorities and business to work with the EU to raise standards and create economic opportunity,” said Julian Vassallo, chargé d'affaires at the Delegation of the European Union to the Philippines. “Having demonstrated their commitment and capacity to adhere to international standards, we heartily welcome CEB to European skies."
CEB operates a fleet that consists primarily of short and medium-haul aircraft, so it is unknown if the carrier will begin operating services to the EU. It does operate a small fleet of Airbus A330s that have the range and capabilities to fly to Europe. However, the feasibility of introducing the LCC model to long-haul routes has been a widely debated issue, with the likes of Air Asia X having tried and failed. Read "The long game" from the December 2013 issue of Business Traveller Asia-Pacific here.
For more information, visit www.cebupacificair.com