GMR Megawide Cebu Airport Corp. (GMCAC), operator of Mactan Cebu International Airport (MCIA), is optimistic to hit its projected 11.2 million passenger traffic this year.
GMCAC reported MCIA handled 5.76 million passengers in the first half of the year, a 12.5 percent year-on-year increase compared to 5.12 million in 2017. Air traffic movement also grew 12.86 percent year-on-year to 49,843 flights this year from 44,165 flights last year.
From January to June, MCIA recorded 3.76 million domestic passengers while international traffic totaled 1.89 million passengers which grew by 10.19 percent and 17.54 percent, respectively.
“We closed the mid-year with a remarkable performance and we are positive to hit the projected 11.2 million passenger traffic this year especially now that we have opened Terminal 2,” said Louie Ferrer, GMCAC president.
Peak domestic passenger traffic was recorded in May with 760,000 passengers, while peak international traffic was recorded during the months of January, February, May and June with a monthly average of 320,000 passengers.
GMCAC said MCIA recorded a total of 37,720 domestic flights, up 12.25 percent from 33,603 in 2017. International flights rose14.78 percent to 12,123 flights from 10,562 of last year’s first half.
Peak air traffic movement was recorded in May with 6,642 domestic flights and 2,101 international flights.
Spanning 65,500 square meters, the newly-opened Terminal 2 is dedicated to serve international flights and can accommodate 4.5 million passengers, GMCAC said. The new facility increased MCIA’s current passenger capacity to a minimum of 12.5 million passengers per annum.
The company noted robust development at MCIA in terms of connectivity as both local and foreign carriers increased their flight frequencies and mounted more flights out of Cebu.
Ferrer said this remarkable growth is due to GMCAC’s initiatives to add more connections to local regions in the country and to other Southeast Asian destinations.
Philippines AirAsia launched three new routes out of MCIA to Chinese destinations – Hangzhou, Shenzhen, and Shanghai. It likewise added a thrice-weekly flight to Clark in May.
Philippine Airlines subsidiary PAL Express resumed PAL’s Cebu-Chengdu service in May 8 and mounted charter flights to Hangzhou and Nanjing in July.
Cebu Pacific has started charter services as well to two Chinese destinations,Shanghai and Beijing,with three and two weekly flights, respectively.
Foreign carriers mounted new routes from Cebu Airport including Beijing-based airline Okay Airways, China Eastern Airlines and Royal Air Charter Service Inc.
Ferrer said the increase in flight frequencies and the addition of new routes especially to China show there is growing demand from the Chinese market for alternative travel destination and Cebu has become that top choice for them.
“We constantly explore new markets that have a potential to expand the connectivity of Cebu to other countries particularly North America, Europe, Australia, and other Asian countries,” said Ferrer.
MCIA, the second largest airport hub in the country, has a total of 23 international and 33 domestic destinations with 26 partner airline carriers. (Malaya)