Cebu Pacific intends to make the newly constructed Sangley Airport in Cavite the hub of its cargo aircraft fleet, an official of the budget carrier said Tuesday.
“This will become the hub and base for our two turboprop freighters that we will have in our fleet,” Cebu Pacific vice president for Cargo Division and Cebgo president Alex Reyes told reporters during the airport operations dry run.
In June, airlines agreed to use Sangley Airport for general aviation, freight turboprop operations, and commercial turboprop operations.
“Ang commitment po namin sa gobyerno is we will operate both our cargo freighters here in Sangley,” Reyes said.
Cebu Pacific earlier said it was looking at increasing the contribution of its cargo business to the company’s overall top line, banking on the country’s growing logistics sector.
In 2018, Cebu Pacific tapped Swiss IPR Conversions Ltd. to convert two of its ATR 72-500 passenger aircraft into cargo planes as demand for air cargo transport is expected to rise with a growing e-commerce sector.
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During the operations dry run, Cebu Pacific’s air freighter landed in Sangley Airport.
“We will receive our second turboprop in the first quarter of 2020,” Reyes said.
“Plano po namin is initially we will fly domestically. So marami pong cities that we would want to link with, from Sangley to Visayas and Mindanao for regular cargo operations back and forth,” he said, noting that Cebu Pacific will eventually fly its cargo fleet to international destinations.
The Department of Transportation has decided to take over the construction of Sangley Airport in response to President Rodrigo Duterte’s order to develop the airport in Cavite by November to decongest the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).
The government tapped Unimaster Conglomeration Inc. as a contractor for the project, valued at P486.028 million.
Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade said the airport will be inaugurated in seven days, particularly as general aviation and freight operations hub.