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Budget carrier Cebu Pacific (CEB) is considering increasing fares due to the surge in fuel prices, according to its president and CEO Lance Y. Gokongwei.

“We will have to increase fares, because costs are increasing. If not, (our operations) will not be sustainable,” Gokongwei said on the sidelines of the media launch of Supah, a grocery delivery app, in Quezon City last Wednesday.

The chief executive of JG Summit Holdings has joined the company board of SariSuki, the parent firm of Supah.

Gokongwei said, however, that Cebu Pacific is trying to mitigate the impact of the spike in oil prices on its business so it could maintain its current fares.

He also said the company will continue to offer promo fares to encourage more Filipinos to travel.

“We’re still getting people to go back to the habit of planning ahead their vacations because nawala ‘yun over the last 2 years. Before, customers would plan 6 months, 1 year ahead, now the customer behavior is 2 weeks ahead, 1 week ahead,” said Gokongwei.

About two weeks ago, the airline launched a special sale and offered tickets for as low as P12, one-way base fare, for flights covering the travel period February 1 to May 31, 2023.

“CEB continues to offer its guaranteed low fares to stimulate travel across its widest domestic network, with multiple flights to top Philippine destinations, such as Boracay and Cebu, both of which are operating 16x daily from Manila,” the company said in a statement.

Cebu Pacific reported a P24.9-billion net loss for 2021. It generated P15.7 billion in revenues in 2021, 30 percent lower than the figure recorded in 2020. This was mostly driven by the 50-percent decline in passenger revenue to P6.3 billion, from P12.6 billion in 2020.

As travel restrictions continue to ease, the airline has ramped up its international network by adding more flights to Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh, Nagoya, Seoul, Osaka and Singapore.

This is in line with the Inter Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases’ Resolution 168, which states that effective May 30, fully vaccinated individuals who received at least one booster shot are exempted from presenting pre-departure Covid-19 test results for entry to the Philippines.