Air passenger traffic in the Philippines fell by 73.8 percent in the first half from a year ago, because of travel restrictions imposed globally to contain the spread of COVID-19.
Data from the Civil Aeronautics Board showed that the country’s total passenger volume reached 2.95 million passengers from January to June, down from 11.3 million passengers registered in the same period last year.
The CAB said of the total, domestic passengers traffic recorded 2 million in the first half, down 66 percent from 5.3 million in the same period last year.
Cebu Pacific carried the most number of domestic passengers with 921,297, followed by PAL Express with 527,566; AirAsia Philippines, 274,809; Philippine Airlines, 175,399; and Cebgo, 92,059 passengers.
International passenger traffic also decreased to 957,573 from last year’s 5.3 million.
Philippine Airlines flew 320,284 international passengers in the six-month period, followed by Cebu Pacific with 57,136 international passengers; Air Asia Philippines, with 4,792; and Royal Air Charter Service with 3,711.
Foreign carriers flew 566,613 international passengers in the first half.
Data showed that in terms of cargo, domestic airlines carried a total of 58.62 million kilograms in the first half. Of the total, Cebu Pacific carried 28.3 million kg.; PAL, 18.19 million kg.; PAL Express, 16.8 million kg.; AirAsia Philippines, 4.05 million kg.; Astro Air International, 5.9 million kg.; Alphaland Aviation, 3.42 million kg; and SEAIR-I Inc., 1.51 million kg.
The International Air Transport Association earlier said it was expecting the airline industry to post $47.7-billion losses in 2021, an improvement on the estimated net industry loss of $126.4 billion in 2020.
“This crisis is longer and deeper than anyone could have expected. Losses will be reduced from 2020, but the pain of the crisis increases. There is optimism in domestic markets where aviation’s hallmark resilience is demonstrated by rebounds in markets without internal travel restrictions,” said IATA director-general Willie Walsh.
“Government imposed travel restrictions, however, continue to dampen the strong underlying demand for international travel. Despite an estimated 2.4 billion people traveling by air in 2021, airlines will burn through a further $81 billion of cash,” he said.