Major aviation events to boost Cebu’s global links

Carlo Lorenciana (The Freeman) - February 13, 2019 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines — Two upcoming major aviation events are set to showcase Cebu’s potential as a growing aviation hub in Asia and further bolster its international networks.


The Department of Tourism (DOT) has announced it is gearing up for two major aviation events, both happening in Cebu next month and in June.

On March 10-12, Cebu is hosting the 2019 Routes Asia at the Waterfront Cebu City Hotel and Casino, which brings “together top-level speakers from across the sphere of aviation, including airlines, airports, destinations, aircraft makers and more, to discuss the most pressing issues facing aviation now and into the future.”

Meanwhile, the CAPA Asia Aviation that will be held in June is expected to gather some 300 aviation executives and decision-makers. CAPA Centre for Aviation had announced that Cebu is hosting the annual CAPA LCCs (low cost carriers) in North Asia Summit on June 24-25.

Sought for comment, Hotel, Resort and Restaurant Association of Cebu (HRRAC) president Carlo Suarez said the hotel industry has started receiving bookings for the Routed Asia event.

Hundreds of delegates are expected to attend Asia’s route development forum.

“We are receiving bookings already for Routes Asia. Cebu is capable of hosting big events and we look forward (to opportunities) in the future,” Suarez told The FREEMAN.

Routes Asia is an avenue to converge and discuss new possibilities in mounting new routes to the Philippines.

Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat in a statement said these upcoming events will showcase the newly developed Mactan-Cebu International Airport (MCIA) and will further bolster the country’s international networks and local tourism.

“It’s all system go for these two major aviation events. We are looking forward to boost not just the number of air seats but also that of new routes and development opportunities for smoother and faster travels to and from the country,” the tourism chief said.

She noted the aim is “not only trying to increase the utilization of our secondary gateways like Cebu, but we’re also trying to decongest Manila, not only of its passenger traffic but as well as the aircraft movement.”

“Through both Routes Asia and CAPA Aviation Summit, the Philippine aviation industry looks forward to further capacity and infrastructure enhancements in the coming years,” Puyat said.

In 2018, the DOT’s Route Development Team under the Tourism Development sector facilitated the opening of 40 new international air routes that provided a total of 1,595,568 air seats this year, of this number, 23 are from local airlines while the remaining 17 are facilitated by international carriers.

To sustain the momentum of growing Chinese interest in the Philippines, a total of 21 new routes to and from China were produced providing for some 745,000 additional seat while three routes to and from Taiwan created an additional 84,000 air seats, the DOT said.

Official Aviation Guide (OAG) analytics data show the Philippines saw an increase in international traffic of 11.33 million or a 5.4% growth from the 10.71 million recorded for the same period last year.

This growth translated to more than 600,000 increase in international air passenger traffic as the demand for international inbound air seats to the Philippines remained very strong.

Moving forward, the DOT further expects higher foreign tourist arrivals in eleven priority gateways: Laoag, Clark, Manila, Puerto Princesa and Legaspi in Luzon; Iloilo, Kalibo, Bacolod, Cebu and Bohol in the Visayas; and Laguindingan in Mindanao.

Under the National Tourism Development Plan, transport infrastructure was identified as one of the strategic programs in pursuing competitiveness and inclusive growth.

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