MCIA cargo volume drops 23%
Carlo S. Lorenciana (The Freeman) - February 1, 2017 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines - Cargo volume processed at the Mactan-Cebu International Airport, the country's second busiest air hub, saw a 23 percent drop in the first 11 months of 2016.

Cargo traffic from January to November of 2016 reached 60.952 million kilograms, a drop from 79.016 million kg recorded in the same period in 2015, data obtained from MCIA Authority showed.

Of the total, domestic cargoes accounted for about 75 percent while international cargoes made up 25 percent.

Data showed that domestic cargoes during the period reached 45.426 million kg, down 25 percent from 60.827 million kg processed in the comparable period in 2015.

Likewise, the volume of international cargoes also registered a double-digit drop to 15.526 million kg, down 15 percent from 18.189 million kg.

The Aircargo Fowarders of the Philippines Inc. (AFPI)-Cebu had expected a negative growth last year as the air cargo business was experiencing a slowdown, reflecting the soft global demand.

Previously, David Tieng, director at AFPI-Cebu, had said that bigger volume is needed to create more activities.

According to Centre for Aviation, MCIA has emerged as one of the fastest growing airports in Asia, recording a 14 percent passenger growth in 2015 to 7.8 million passengers.

In April 2014, GMR-Megawide Cebu Airport Corp., the consortium between Megawide and Bangalore-based GMR Infrastructure Ltd., won the P17.5-billion concession to rehabilitate and manage MCIA for 25 years, including the construction of a second terminal for international passengers. The Terminal 2 construction is ongoing and is expected to be operational by end of June 2018.

GMCAC took over operations of MCIA in November 2014. It is also undertaking renovations in Terminal 1 to improve operating efficiency. 

Earlier, the Cebu Port Authority also reported cargo volume at the Cebu port saw a 10 percent drop in 2016, although container traffic continued to build up growing by 6.74 percent.

Cargo volume at Cebu port reached 38.052 million metric tons (MMT) last year, down by 10 percent from 42.473 MMT recorded in 2015. Container traffic, however, grew 6.74 percent to 888,973 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs)  832,782 TEUs.

Domestic cargoes accounted for more than half of the total cargo volume at 29.819 MMT. On the other hand, foreign cargoes reached 8.232 MMT.

On the other hand, ship calls also saw a 14.66 percent growth last year to 128,898 vessels from 112,410 vessels in 2015. Likewise, passenger traffic last year also reached 20.198 million passengers, up 11 percent  from 18.207 million in 2015. (FREEMAN NEWS) 

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