Cebu airport opens new China route
Richmond Mercurio (The Philippine Star) - June 26, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — A new Chinese destination is set to open from Cebu’s main international gateway, according to the private company managing the terminal operations and other related areas of the Mactan-Cebu International Airport (MCIA).

GMR Megawide Cebu Airport Corp. (GMCAC) said Xiamen Air is set to commence operation of its direct service to Chengdu from the MCIA beginning June 27.

This is the first time that Cebu will have regular scheduled flights to Chengdu. Previously, Chengdu to Cebu is operated during the Chinese peak travel season only.

“We are glad to welcome Xiamen Air’s newest direct service to Chengdu, one of China’s busiest and economically-robust cities. Through this partnership with Xiamen Air, we aim to achieve a common goal which is to increase connectivity between Cebu to international destinations,” GMCAC president Louie Ferrer said.

Xiamen Air will service the Cebu-Chengdu route thrice weekly every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday using a Boeing 737-800 with 22 business class seats and 161 economy class seats.

“The launch of the Chengdu service is in line with Xiamen Air’s plan to open more routes between the Philippines and China, specially in Cebu and Chengdu as these two major cities have huge tourist markets and are internationally known for its tourism destinations and upbeat economic activities,” Xiamen Air Cebu station manager Bruce Gong said.

Xiamen Air also operates regular thrice weekly flights to Xiamen and Fuzhou.

“With the opening of this new service, Filipinos will have more reasons to visit and will slowly discover the diverse culture and interesting destinations in China,” GMCAC chief commercial adviser Ravishankar Saravu said.

Last January, GMCAC welcomed two new Chinese carriers that launched direct flights to Guangzhou and Shanghai.

Aside from Chengdu, MCIA is connected to other key destinations in China namely, Guangzhou, Chongqing, Fuzhou, Kunming, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Xiamen.

The MCIA was named Asia Pacific Medium Airport of the Year last year by the CAPA-Center for Aviation.

MCIA was selected among airports with over 10 million annual passengers for “having been the biggest standout strategically, has established itself as a leader and done the most to advance the progress of the aviation industry.”

In 2016, MCIA was named Asia Pacific Small Airport of the Year, just two years after GMCAC assumed landside operations under a 25-year public-private partnership agreement.

Domestic traffic at the MCIA rose by 13 percent year-on-year in the first quarter to close to two million passengers, while international traffic grew almost 10 percent to around one million passengers.

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