Jorenz Tañada, vice president for corporate affairs of Cebu Pacific, said the cancellation of flights as requested by China-based companies from September to December would affect 24,138 passengers and forgo P284 million in potential tourism revenues, reported Philippine Star.
“We estimate impact on tourism revenue would be P284 million, assuming tourists were to stay four days in the Philippines and spend an average of $66 per day,” he was quoted as saying.
However, Tañada reportedly clarified that the Gokongwei-led airline would continue to operate scheduled commercial flights from Manila to Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Xiamen.
“We regret that there is an existing travel advisory issued by the People’s Republic of China to the Philippines and hope that it will be lifted at the soonest possible time,” he added.
The Chinese government issued an advisory last Sept. 12 warning its citizens not to travel to the Philippines after a Chinese teenager who worked in a family-run store was kidnapped, the report said.
The advisory was also issued amid plots that criminal groups are planning to attack the Chinese embassy and companies, as well as airports and shopping malls, the report pointed out.
“Given that the safety situation in the Philippines is deteriorating, the consular service of the foreign ministry is asking Chinese nationals not to travel to the Philippines for the time being,” the advisory stated.
Tension between Manila and Beijing has been mounting the past few years due to territory disputes in the West Philippine Sea and South China Sea.
Earlier, low-cost carrier AirAsia Zest announced the indefinite suspension of Kalibo- Beijing and Kalibo-Shanghai routes starting Sept. 18 due to the travel warning issued by the Chinese government, the report said.
“We have temporarily suspended our services for Kalibo (Boracay) to Shanghai and Beijing at the request of the company that charters our flights and in relation to the travel warning issued by the Chinese government,” the airline was quoted as saying by Manila-based newspaper.
The airline jointly owned by Philippines AirAsia and Zest Airways of Alfredo Yao, however, clarified that flights between Manila and China would not be affected.