Freeman Cebu Business

MCIA passenger, aircraft traffic up 12% to 3.7 M

Carlo S. Lorenciana - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines - The Mactan-Cebu International Airport, the country's second busiest airport, posted a 12 percent growth in both passenger and aircraft traffic in the first five months of 2016, latest official data showed.

The Mactan airport recorded 3.715 million passengers both domestic and international from January to May this year, up 12 percent  from 3.320 million in the same period last year, data from MCIA Authority indicated.

MCIA had 2.775 million domestic passengers and 939,608 international travelers in the five-month period.

MCIA also saw a 12 percent rise in aircraft traffic in the first five months to 29,441 domestic and international flights.

During the period, the airport recorded 23,445 domestic flights and 5,996 foreign flights.

Just recently, Thai Smile Airways, a subsidiary of Thai Airways, announced to begin its non-stop service from Cebu to Bangkok this October. The daily Bangkok-Cebu-Bangkok route is an addition to Thai Smiles' five international and 12 domestic routes in Thailand.

Several foreign airlines namely Emirates, Xiamen Airlines, Qatar Airways and Eva Air recently added new services directly from Cebu in their existing frequencies. Philippines Airlines also launched in March its Cebu-Los Angeles service.

Currently, MCIA is served by 12 foreign airlines and has 12 international destinations.

"Mactan-Cebu is the most logical airport for new point-to-point routes as Cebu is the second largest city in the Philippines and Mactan-Cebu is being expanded to support rapid growth," the Center for Asia Pacific Aviation said in its recent report.

"Demand for air travel in the Philippines is expected to continue growing rapidly, boosted by rapid economic growth and and expanding middle class population," the CAPA report said.

GMR-Megawide Cebu Airport Corp., MCIA's private operator, continues to embark on new airlines and destination marketing initiatives to add new routes and increase passenger volume.

GMCAC is undergoing a P17.5-billion upgrading project at MCIA, which is seen to increase its capacity to 12.5 million passengers a year. The ongoing construction of Terminal 2 is scheduled to be operational by 2018.  (FREEMAN)


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