Philippine low cost airline Cebu Pacific has announced the suspension of flights to Kuwait and the Qatari and Saudi capitals Doha and Riyadh from next month citing a “substantial oversupply of seats”.
Cebu said the last flight on its four-times-a-week service from Manila to Kuwait would take place on June 13 and the return journey on June 14.
Its three times weekly Manila-Doha-Manila route will have its last flight on July 1 and the last flight from Manila to Riyadh will leave on July 2 with the final return journey on July 3.
In a statement, the airline’s vice president for corporate affairs, Atty JR Mantaring, cited aggressive expansion by other carriers as the reason for its suspension of the routes, a likely reference to Emirates, Etihad and Qatar Airways.
“The entry of Cebu Pacific into these markets benefitted passengers with lower fares and more choices. Of late, other carriers have aggressively added more flights, which has resulted in substantial oversupply of seats and fares that are so low, hence making the routes unsustainable,” he said.
“We have to continuously review our routes to ensure their viability. At this point, it makes more sense for us to re-deploy the aircraft used for our Riyadh, Doha and Kuwait service to routes where we can further stimulate demand and sustain our low fare offers.”
Cebu added it would retain its long-haul services to and from Dubai, UAE and Sydney, Australia with a view to increasing frequencies to these destinations in the future.
The airline said passengers affected by the Doha, Riyadh and Kuwait cuts were being contacted with the options of rebooking at an earlier date, a full refund, or use of the ticket’s full value for a future flight.
The route cuts are the second by an airline from the country in recent weeks after Philippine Airlines announced the suspension of its Manila – Abu Dhabi service from July 8.