The Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines is anticipating two million air travelers going to and from various provinces starting this Sunday to observe the Holy Week in their hometowns, as most of the restrictions under the COVID-19 pandemic have been lifted.
The CAAP has reactivated its “Oplan Biyaheng Ayos: Semana Santa” program, placing all airports under its supervision under heightened alert from April 2 to April 10, “to ensure safe, secure, reliable, and convenient air travel for passengers, airport safety and security measures are in place.”
CAAP records showed that 231,479 passengers were served in April 2021 while there was a total of 1,715,720 last year.
Spokesperson Eric Apolonio said all 12 Area Managers handling all CAAP-operated airports with commercial flights nationwide shall ensure the observance of maximum deployment of service and security personnel.
“Therefore, a no leave policy will be implemented during the entire duration of Oplan Biyaheng Ayos,” he said.
Apolonio said CAAP, together with local authorities including the Police-Aviation Security Unit (AVSEU), Office of Transportation Security (OTS), Department of Tourism (DOT), Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB), and airlines, are coordinating the efficient processing of passengers, especially at check-in counters.
“CAAP has requested for the additional deployment of personnel from airline stakeholders in order to accommodate the increase in travelers. Malasakit Help Desks and hotlines manned by duty officers are also set up to accommodate passenger concerns,” he added.
The agency reminds all passengers to comply with minimum health protocols within enclosed areas of the airport.
“This year, the Authority is expecting the travel surge to reach over two million travelers,” said Apolonio.
He added CAAP has projected that passenger air traffic recovery in the Philippines in the coming years would increase between 7 to 10% annually as travel restrictions continue to ease.
Meanwhile, Air Asia Philippines is set to launch today (Wednesday) a program at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 4 to assist thousands of Filipinos flying to the various provinces to observe Lent.
The airline will be putting up help desks and additional manpower at the terminal to assist their guests.
Air Asia chief executive officer Ricky Isla will be visiting Terminal 4 this morning to do an inspection and assess the needs of the guests.