In late August, 1988, Cebu Air was established in Pasay City, Metro Manila, the Philippines, but it only started operations almost 8 years later, in early March, 1996.
In February 1998, Cebu Pacific Air was grounded by the government, but continued its services next month, after the re-certification of its aircraft.
In late November, 2001, Cebu Pacific Air started operating international flights with a twice-daily service to Hong-Kong.
On the 1st of March, 2002, Cebu Pacific Air introduced thrice-weekly flights to Seoul.
In the following years, Cebu Pacific Air continued to introduce new routes and increase flight frequency for some of the existing ones.
In late May, 2008, Cebu Pacific was named as the world's number one airline in terms of growth, ranking fifth in Asia for Budget Airline passengers transported and 23rd in the world.
On July 22, 2008, Cebu Pacific became the first airline to use the new Terminal 3 of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport and the first airline to operate international commercial flights from the new terminal.
In August, 2009, Cebu Pacific opened its Twitter account, being the first airline in the Philippines to use social media.
In January 2010, Cebu Pacific gained an International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 9001:2008 Certificate, an upgrade of CEB’s ISO 9001:2000 Certificate obtained in February 2003. The new certificate guarantees that Cebu Pacific Air has consistent business procedures covering all key processes in the airline, including adequate records for all transactions, effective monitoring processes and mechanisms for continuous improvement.
In April 2010, Cebu Pacific disappointed with the European Union’s decision to blacklist all Philippine airlines from flying to the EU, based on the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Significant Safety Concern from December 2009.
In May 2010, CEB increased Airbus A320 orders by seven, on top of an existing order of 15 aircraft. The first for the 180-seat brand-new aircraft scheduled to be delivered from 2010 to 2014 arrived in October and was used to add routes and frequencies on CEB’s network of 33 domestic and 14 international destinations.
In June 2010, Cebu Pacific became the Philippines’ largest airline by total number of passengers flown on domestic and international routes. CEB claimed the Nº 1 domestic carrier in 2009 when it captured 50% of the domestic market share, in 2010, with 51% market share it was again the Nº 1. The airline operated the youngest aircraft fleet in the country, composed of 8 ATR 72-500 and 21 Airbus aircraft.
In February 2011, Cebu Pacific bagged the Budgie$ Friendliest LCC Award at the Low Cost Airlines World Asia-Pacific Conference held in Singapore, besting other contenders like Air Arabia, Air Asia, Jetstar Asia, SpiceJet and Spring Airlines.
In May 2011, Cebu Pacific Airlines was named the most sociable airline in the world by Planely.com, an air travel-focused social networking site that saw 142 airlines joining its contest.
In July 2012, Cebu Pacific CEO, Lance Gokongwei won the global low-cost airline Leadership Award. The Airline Strategy awards, event that recognizes the airline industry’s best in leadership, marketing, and innovation. Previous years Airline Strategy awards in the Low Cost Leadership category include Jetstar’s Alan Joyce, Ryanair’s CEO Michael O’Leary, and Air Asia’s Tony Fernandes.
In December 2012, Cebu Pacific Air took delivery of its 41st aircraft with tail number RP-C3271. Cebu Pacific is the only airline in the Philippines with its fleet acquired 100% brand-new, making it one of the youngest and most modern aircraft fleets in Asia.
In June 2012, Cebu Pacific ranked 15th in Airline Business Magazine’s list of the world’s top 75 low-cost carriers (LCC) based on 2011 passenger numbers. Cebu Pacific also ranked 15th in 2010. The world’s three largest LCCs in 2012 were Ireland’s RyanAir, UK’s EasyJet and USA’s Southwest.
In January 2014, Cebu Pacific and Tigerair, the largest budget carriers based in the Philippines and Singapore, have signed a strategic alliance. Subject to regulatory approval, Cebu Pacific and Tigerair will collaborate commercially and operationally on international and domestic air routes, thus creating the biggest network of flights to and from the Philippines.
In February 2014, Cebu Pacific Air announced that it has signed a share purchase agreement to acquire 100% of Tigerair Philippines, including a 40% stake of Tiger Airways Holdings Limited.
Starting April 11, 2014, Cebu Pacific has been removed from the list of airlines banned from operating in the European Union (EU) member countries. This confirms Cebu Pacific's commitment to safety and full compliance with international aviation safety standards. This enabled Cebu Pacific to continue flying to the EU.
The only fatal accident in the history of Cebu Pacific took place on the 2nd day of February, 1998, when Cebu Pacific Flight 387, a DC-9-32 travelling from Manila to Cagayan de Oro, crashed on the slopes of Mount Sumagaya due to a pilot error, killing all 104 people on board.