Air passenger traffic grew by nearly a tenth in the first half from a year ago despite the lack of airport slots in Manila’s international gateway.
Data from the Civil Aeronautics Board showed that the combined domestic and international passenger traffic grew by 9.8 percent in the first six months to 30.47 million from 27.75 million in the same period last year.
Domestic passenger traffic reached 15.16 million passengers, up from last year’s 13.92 million while international passenger traffic rose to 15.31 million from 13.83 million.
“For many years we have been growing robustly on an average of 10 percent. We are on track [to meet the 10 percent target this year] and hopefully the programs that the government will work in order to give some kind of slack in our infrastructure,” CAB executive director Carmelo Arcilla said.
“The demand in the Philippines is overtaking the infrastructure but we are doing our best,” he said.
Arcilla said among the planned infrastructure projects are the New Manila International Airport in Bulacan, the rehabilitation of Ninoy Aquino International Airports and the development of new airports outside Metro Manila.
San Miguel Corp. earlier secured a notice of award form the Transportation Department for the construction of a P734-billion international airport in Bulacan while the proposal of NAIA Consortium is now being evaluated by the National Economic and Development Authority.
Data showed that Cebu Pacific remained the country’s top domestic carrier with 6.60 million passengers in the first half, up from 6.24 million passengers last year.
This was followed by PAL Express with 3.77 million passengers, up from last year’s 3.21 million passengers, while Philippine Airlines carried 841,291 passengers, slightly down from 869,492 passengers last year.
Philippines Air Asia flew 2.61 million domestic passengers; Cebgo, 968,675 passengers; Magnum Air, 118,272; Airswfit 1Transport Inc. 86, 994; and AirJuan Aviation Inc., 9,510 passengers.
PAL was the number one airline in terms of international traffic with 3.83 million passengers in the first half, followed by Cebu Pacific with 2.97 million passengers and Philippines Air Asia with 1.25 million passengers.
Astro Air International carried 127, 267 passengers in the first half and Royal Air Charter Services flew 5,884 passengers.
Foreign carriers’ total passenger traffic reached 7.11 million passengers, up from last year’s 6.52 million passengers.