Cebu Pacific passenger traffic up 2.6% in April


BusinessWorld Online

CEBU AIR, Inc. and its wholly owned subsidiary Cebgo, Inc. flew more passengers in April, amid an increase in summer bookings due to the traditional Lenten break and the long Labor Day weekend during the month.

The Gokongwei-led carrier ferried a total of 1.87 million passengers in April, 2.6% higher than the 1.77 million recorded during the same month last year, according to the latest operating statistics uploaded on its Web site.

The latest tally reversed the annual decline recorded in February and March, which saw a 6.5% drop to 1.55 million and 0.2% dip to 1.64 million, respectively.

Cebu Pacific data showed airline capacity increased 4.2% to 2.05 million from 1.97 million during the comparable period, while the number of flights also grew 6% to 12,290 from 11,598 previously.

Seat load factor in April stood at 88.6%, lower than the 90.1% recorded in April 2016, even as the number of aircraft increased to 59 from 57.

Cebu Pacific said in a separate statement that it ramped up its capacity this year in support of domestic destinations such as Siargao, Masbate and Tablas in Romblon. The carrier also expanded its Visayas-Mindanao route network with direct flights from Cagayan de Oro to Tagbilaran and Bacolod.

For the January to April period, Cebu Pacific and Cebgo already carried 6.63 million people, 0.4% up from the 6.6 million seen during the comparable period last year. Capacity was up 3.3% to 7.79 million from 7.54 million, while flights during the first four months were 85.1% full on the average.

Based on its latest operating statistics, the number of flights rose 2.5% to 46,040 from 44,913.

The Gokongwei-led airline is targeting to ferry 20 million passengers this year, as it expects the delivery of 48 additional planes up to 2021.

The budget carrier on Thursday announced it is adopting a dividend payment policy of around 20% of the previous year’s earnings per share, in line with good corporate governance practices.

“The board of directors of Cebu Air, Inc., has adopted a dividend policy to pay an annual dividend of approximately 20% of the previous year’s recurring earnings per share (per audited consolidated financial statements of the company),” Cebu Pacific said in its statement.

The pay-out ratio, it noted, shall be reviewed every year.

Cebu Air said its board of directors approved the declaration of a regular cash dividend of P1.00 per share and a special cash dividend in the amount of P1.75 per share, to all stockholders of record as of June 9, 2017 to be paid on July 5.

“This dividend policy has been formulated taking into account the company’s historical performance and financial outlook. The board believes that this policy is in line with good corporate governance practices and is in the best interests of the shareholders. We hope that this also reflects our drive to share our company’s success with our shareholders,” Cebu Pacific President and CEO Lance Y. Gokongwei was quoted as saying.

Cebu Pacific said the dividend policy will take effect after the release of the audited consolidated financial statements for the year ending Dec. 31, 2017.

Shares in Cebu Pacific closed lower by P1.40 or 1.38% to P100.10 on Thursday. -- Imee Charlee C. Delavin  


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