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Domestic air passenger growth flat in 2014

MANILA, Philippines - Domestic air passenger traffic growth was flat in 2014 with budget airline Cebu Air Inc. (Cebu Pacific) and Tiger Airways Philippines Inc. dominating the market.

Data released by the Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) showed that domestic scheduled passenger traffic reached 20.35 million last year from 20.33 million in 2013.

Cebu Pacific flew 11.08 million passengers within the Philippines last year or 8.2 percent higher to 10.24 million passengers in 2013 while sister airline Tigerair Philippines serviced 1.3 million passengers or 34.5 percent higher compared to 969,753.

National flag carrier Philippine Airlines Inc. recorded a 69.3-percent drop in the volume of domestic passengers to 793,512 last year from 2.58 million in 2013 after transferring most of its domestic flights to low cost carrier unit PAL Express.

In turn, the volume of domestic passengers carried by PA Express rose 18 percent to 5.13 million last year from 4.35 million in 2013.

The volume of domestic passengers of Air Asia Zest declined 15.6 percent to 1.68 million from about two million while that of Air Asia surged 80 percent to 283,896 from 157,329.

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CAB has yet to release the 2014 international air passenger traffic. In the first half of 2014, foreign and domestic carriers flew 9.31 million passengers.

The Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA), the country’s main gateway, handled 34.1 million international and domestic passengers last year or four percent higher compared to 32.8 million in 2013.

Data from the Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) showed the number of arriving and departing domestic passengers at NAIA went up 1.8 percent to 18.02 million last year from 17.69 million in 2013 while international passenger traffic went up by 5.9 percent to 16.07 million from 15.17 million.

Takenaka Corp. of Japan completed the P1.9-billion retrofitting works at NAIA Terminal 3 while DM Consunji Inc. expects to complete the P1.3-billion rehabilitation of NAIA -1 next month. 

On the other hand, data from the Mactan Cebu International Airport Authority (MCIAA) showed the volume of passengers at the country’s second busiest gateway slipped two percent to 6.84 million last year from 6.99 million in 2013.

Volume of domestic passengers fell 3.4 percent to 5.16 million last year from 5.34 million in 2013 while that of international passengers inched up by three percent to 1.68 million form 1.63 million.



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