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Local air travel up 9.6% but load factor dropped

Domestic air travel grew 9.6 percent in 2012, but the load factor of airlines dropped as inclement weather discouraged Filipinos from taking to the sky, the Civil Aeronautics Board said Thursday. Data from CAB showed the number of domestic passengers reached 20.56 million last year from 18.76 million in 2011. Domestic load factor, which measures the number of seats occupied during a flight, averaged 73 percent, down from 77 percent in 2011. CAB attributed the decline in the load factor on bad weather conditions, especially during the third quarter when the most number of typhoons lash across the country. Cebu Pacific remained the leading domestic airline, carrying 9.48 million passengers, up 11.9 percent from 8.48 million in 2011. Its load factor, however, fell to 77 percent from 80 percent. Philippine Airlines flew 4.09 million passengers, down 5 percent from 4.31 million in 2011 due to a realignment of domestic destination. The flag carrier’s load factor also declined to 71 percent from 74 percent.
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