The newly opened Terminal 2 of the Mactan Cebu International Airport (MCIA) is expected to attract more airlines as it nearly triples the airport’s annual capacity from 4.5 million to 12.5 million passengers.
Terminal 2, which handles all international flights leaving domestic flights to Terminal 1, makes MCIA the most modern and efficient airport in the Philippines.
Apart from having a resort theme reflecting the tropical destination, the terminal also boasts several technology firsts such as high-speed inline baggage handling system, durable roof cladding that reduces UV, and washrooms with real moss walls to stabilise humidity and improve air quality.
Andrew Acquaah-Harrison, chief executive advisor of MCIA and manager at GMR Megawide Cebu Airport, said that in addition to Emirates’ successful Dubai-Clark-Cebu services and Qatar Airways’ Doha-Davao-Cebu flights commencing in the next three months, talks are ongoing with Turkish Airlines and Finnair to fly to Cebu and with Chinese carriers to launch more chartered and commercial flights.
Harrison said MCIA will step up efforts to market the airport, as well as the destination of Cebu, in collaboration with the tourism task force comprising airlines, hotels and resorts under the Department of Tourism through regular roadshows and talks with airlines.
MCIA is targeting Asian (India, Japan, China) and longhaul markets (Europe, the US, the Middle East, Australia). Still, foreign passengers are expected to comprise just 40 per cent of passenger capacity, and domestic travellers 60 per cent.
Colliers International research manager Joey Bondoc said the opening of MCIA’s Terminal 2 “comes at an opportune time” for Philippine inbound tourism, given the closure of Boracay island for six months since April 26 to pave the way for its rehabilitation.
Cebu Pacific (CEB), which has the largest number of flights in MCIA with 385 domestic and international services weekly, will add aircraft to serve the expected growth in passenger traffic.
CEB’s overall in charge for marketing, Michelle de Guzman, quoted CEO Lance Gokongwei as saying that the carrier’s services will probably increase by at least 20 per cent next year, without specifying the destinations covered.
De Guzman said they will stimulate the market in Cebu by offering year-round round-trip fares that are on average 44 per cent lower than the offerings from other airlines.