AT LEAST two million air travelers, including overseas Filipino workers, are expected to arrive in four terminals of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport this month to spend and enjoy their vacations with friends and families this holiday season.
Eddie Monreal, general manager of the Manila International Airport Authority, admitted the Immigration personnel were having a hard time in assisting incoming OFWs mostly from the Middle East countries and balikbayans around the globe because they arrived in volume, especially during the “peak hours” resulting in long lines of arrivals.
In 2016, he said, over two million passengers arrived from all over the world to spend their Yuletide.
“We expect an increase of 20 percent more to arrive this December until Jan. 2, 2018,” said Monreal.
Airport Chief Immigration officer Marc Red Mariñas said they canceled all vacation leave of all immigration officers to fill up the vacant counters to assist incoming passengers.
The Department of Tourism is targeting some 6.4 million passengers to arrive in the country this season for various reasons.
Meanwhile, Monreal directed all airline ground handlers to expedite the unloading of passengers’ luggage from the aircraft.
The MIAA chief came up with the directive after his office received complaints and other concerns from incoming passengers on the delayed retrieval of their checked-in luggage from the baggage carousel that resulted in congestion at the passenger terminal’s arrival conveyor area.
To avoid or to minimize congestion, Monreal said ground equipment must be positioned at the aircraft bay staging area 30 minutes before the flight arrival for immediate transfer of checked-in baggage to the ramp conveyor system.
First baggage/luggage must be at the conveyor belt within 12 minutes after the aircraft had parked at the designated parking bay and must be loaded to the conveyor belt 40 minutes after the aircraft had parked.
As courtesy and for everyone’s safety within the baggage carousel, Monreal advised passengers to stand behind the yellow line for an orderly retrieval of luggage.