Air passenger traffic drops 69% from January to September

Richmond Mercurio - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — Air passenger traffic in the country plunged by 69 percent in the nine months to September due to domestic travel restrictions and the daily cap for foreign arrivals.

Data from the Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) showed the country’s total passenger traffic from January to September reached 3.66 million, down by 8.3 million from the same period in 2020.

Domestic passenger traffic comprised majority of the volume at 3.13 million, 50 percent lower than last year’s 6.32 million.

Budget carrier Cebu Pacific and unit CebGo carried the most number of domestic passengers with 1.6 million, followed by Philippine Airlines and PAL Express with 1.11 million, and Philippines AirAsia Inc. with 410,774.

International passenger traffic, meanwhile, plummeted to 528,557 from 5.66 million in the same period last year, according to CAB.

Foreign airlines carried a total of 334,880 passengers, while local carriers accounted for 193,677 of the international passenger traffic during the period.

Philippine Airlines flew 164,707 international passengers, while Cebu Pacific carried 21,107 passengers.

The Air Carriers Association of the Philippines (ACAP) has appealed to the government to simplify further the requirements for travelers, and make necessary adjustments in the country’s travel policies to meet the travel demand during the holidays.

For domestic travel, ACAP members composed of PAL Express, Cebgo, Cebu Pacific, Philippine Airlines, and AirAsia Philippines are urging local government units to accept vaccine cards, with or without QR codes.

ACAP said this would simplify the proof of vaccination requirement regardless of the origin of the vaccine card.

On international travel, ACAP is calling on the government to increase to 10,000 the prevailing cap of 4,000 passengers daily on international arrivals for inbound passengers carried by all international airlines into the country.



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