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Cebu Pacific to fly to Siargao in March

Cebu Pacific will service Mindanao's surfing capital, Siargao Island, starting March.

According to the airline, its planes will start flying to Siargao from Cebu about two months before the expected influx of tourists for the annual surfing festival.

"This will make Cebu Pacific the first commercial airline to fly to Siargao. The company will also open in February direct flights from Cebu to Cotabato and Manila-Catarman and Calbayog in Samar; Virac in Catanduanes, and Cauayan in Isabela Province," RG Orense, Cebu Pacific communications officer, told reporters Tuesday.

A Manila-Siargao flight was also being finalized, he said.

Orense said the increase in passenger load also prompted them to add one more flight for the Davao-Manila route. Currently, Cebu Pacific has five Manila-bound flights daily from Davao City.

In a statement, Lance Gokongwei, Cebu Pacific president and chief executive officer, said that the growth "can be attributed to the increase in our seat capacity coupled with our trademark low fares."

In 2008, the airline company flew 6.7 million passengers and was optimistic the number would increase to 9.3 million in 2009, he said.

"We were able to successfully convince more Filipinos to travel by air despite economic uncertainties. 2008 challenged us to look for ways to stimulate travel and sustain our domestic and international operations. We will continue to look for ways to deliver a simple and reliable product and the public can expect more innovation from Cebu Pacific this year," he said. (Jeffrey M. Tupas, Mindanao Bureau)

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