Speech by Ambassador Bill Tweddell
Cebu Pacific Inaugural Flight to Sydney
8 September 2014
The Honourable Ramon Jimenez, Secretary of Tourism
Mr Lance Gogkongwei, President and CEO of Cebu Pacific
Good evening everyone
It is an immense privilege to be here to commemorate the inaugural flight of Cebu Pacific to Sydney. This new route for Cebu Pacific will land in a country whose people are diverse and well-known for their lust for travel. Australia is also known as the home for over a quarter of a million Filipinos. While many of them make the return journey to the Philippines on a regular basis, more and more other Australians are flying here to discover this wonderful country, its people, and all the natural beauty that the Philippines has to offer.
These people-to-people links are important to Australia. Australia seeks to thrive into the future in partnership with Southeast Asia by building closer ties, and by growing together in a region where friendship and economic prosperity are the basis for our shared future.
Australia has many important programs under way which rely on strong transportation links between our country and the Philippines. The Australia-Philippines education relationship is one of these. Almost 9,000 Filipino students were enrolled to study in Australia in 2013. As at June this year, this number was already at almost 8,000 – a jump of 30% from last year. The increase in students enrolling to study in Australia is going to see an increased demand for airline seats. Students are always looking to save money and Cebu Pacific’s low cost fares will give them a chance to make their budgets spread further.
With this, I would like to wish Cebu Pacific all the best of luck in this venture and express my thanks to them for building yet more cultural links between our two great nations. Bon voyage to the passengers taking this maiden flight!