Interview: Cebu Pacific’s Director of Program Management Office on the right mindset to accelerate digital transformation

Phu Nguyen Event, Event News Leave a Comment

“The bigger challenge for me is always the mindset, more than the cost objections.”

– Catherine B. De Leon, Director of Program Management Office, Cebu Pacific Air –

Following the successful Aviation Festival Asia 2018, we’re launching an eBook featuring some of the industry’s most forward-thinking digital innovators to talk about their digital innovation journey and where they think we are headed. Download our ebook here for full interviews. Below is an excerpt of our chat with Catherine. 

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Tell us more about Cebu Pacific’s digital roadmap.

Catherine: There are 7 areas which we’ve identified as part of our digital agenda — new brand propositions, pricing and revenue management, digital marketing, omni-channel experience, digitally enabled customer experience, digitally enabled operations and internal support.

The emerging trend of end-to-end personalisation of passenger experience is something which we are working towards. For this, we are focusing on what we call the “Single Customer View,” it’s about harnessing data across multiple sources, cleaning it up to ensure data integrity, then implementing data use cases.

We currently have digitalisation initiatives everywhere. For example, our digital-enabled cabin crew have started selling on-board via iPads, and at the airport, our check-in agents have started using iPads that allow them to process passengers away from the traditional counters. The latter also functions as a natural extension of our DCS (Departure Control System) so in case the airport system goes down, we can still go on with our business.

On top of our digital roadmap, we also underwent a service research exercise both on the customers and employees to determine the pain points of both groups. To me, in totality, this is a two-pronged approach. While digital transformation is important, we wanted to also do a service review to look into the three Cs of Consumer, Company Policy and Process, and Culture, because ultimately, there is a need to come up with one service vision across the whole business. This is where the service blueprinting comes in.

Ultimately, the aim is to elevate or improve the overall customer experience and satisfaction, which will lead to higher levels of customer retention.

What’s the next step?

Catherine: There are a lot of internal business processes that need to be reviewed. We are bringing in new technologies, but the question is, “What are we then taking out?” We must take out time-consuming and ineffective legacy processes.

Another challenge we are facing is airport infrastructure. For example, Manila Airport Terminal 3 was designed for a capacity of 14 million passengers. In 2017 alone, Cebu Pacific already accounted for 14 million passengers moving through T3. With these constraints, we have introduced initiatives like off-airport check-ins, self check-in kiosks, additional off-counter agents who approach passengers for check-in on the floor to help ease the congestion, but we can only do so much.

How do you prioritise the touch-points to focus your digital transformation efforts on?

Catherine:We are very much aware of our infrastructure limitations, so there was a lot of push for airport off-counter check-ins in the past few years. Moving forward, we are…


Join us at Aviation Festival Asia 2019
Now entering its 15th year, Aviation Festival Asia 2019 (27 – 28 February, Singapore) is Asia’s largest airline leadership conference, gathering leaders from FSCs, LCCs and airports with a size of 150+ speakers, 1000+ delegates and total 2,000+ attendees. Want to join us? For sponsorship & exhibition enquiries, contact adam.ball@terrapinn.com or to explore speaking opportunities at the event, contact paul.clark@terrapinn.com.

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