Cebu Airport Welcomes Four New International Routes in March

Mactan-Cebu International Airport will be launching four new international flights in March, which will provide passengers travelling from the central and southern Philippines with viable alternatives to bypass the highly congested Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Manila.

Copyright Photo: D.Wilson/PFN
Passengers departing from Cebu will soon enjoy direct service to four new destinations including Los Angeles, Taipei, Dubai, and Xiamen. The first new flight will depart on March 15 when national flag carrier, Philippine Airlines, introduces non-stop service between Cebu and Los Angeles aboard its Airbus A340-300 aircraft. PAL will be operating the service with three flights weekly.

los angeles cebu flights
Image Source: Mactan-Cebu Airport
Business travellers will appreciate the arrival of EVA Air, a member of Star Alliance, which will launch daily non-stop flights between Cebu and Taipei on March 27. EVA Air will operate the flights with its 184-seat Airbus A321-200 aircraft. In Taipei, passengers will be able to connect to a wide range of Eva Air destinations throughout Europe and North America.

cebu taipei flights
Image Source: Mactan-Cebu Airport
On March 28, Xiamen Air will introduce three weekly flights between Cebu and Xiamen aboard its Boeing 737-800 aircraft. Xiamen Air, a subsidiary of China Southern, is a member of the SkyTeam Alliance with an extensive network throughout mainland China and Asia.

cebu xiamen flights
Image Source: Mactan-Cebu Airport
Finally, Emirates will be launching direct service between Cebu and Dubai on March 30, connecting passengers to the carrier's extensive network in the Middle East, Europe, and eastern United States. This particular route will operate as part of a triangular routing, which will make a stop at Clark International Airport before continuing onto Dubai.

cebu dubai flights
Image Source: Mactan-Cebu Airport
According to Louie Ferrer, President of GMR-Megawide Cebu Airport Corporation, bringing new routes and airlines to Cebu is a critical component of the airport's transformation under its new management. "Many of these flights are a first for Cebu, which will draw inbound tourism and give strong support for export services," said Ferrer.

Mactan-Cebu International Airport is currently positioning itself to become an alternative gateway for both domestic and international flights in an effort to ease congestion at Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Manila. The airport is undergoing a US$326 million expansion and is under the private management of GMR-Megawide consortium.

The expansion includes the construction of a second terminal building, which will enable the airport to handle increased passenger volume. At present, Cebu handles approximately 4.7 million passengers on an annual basis. The consortium anticipates that annual traffic will rise to 8.9 million by 2018, while daily flights will increase from 220 to 350 once the second terminal is complete.

Mactan-Cebu International Airport is planning to tap into the large overseas Filipino worker market, which currently represents 34% of all international passengers in the Philippines. However, less than 5% of those passengers currently use Cebu as a departure point. Meanwhile, the new management at the airport has identified potential new routes and is deploying teams to pitch route opportunities to various carriers.

According to a report released by the Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation, Cebu is one of the fastest growing airports in Southeast Asia with passenger growth of 13 percent in the first ten months of 2015. The report added that the new terminal currently under construction will help to position Cebu as a hub for transit traffic, as Philippine carriers continue to deploy aircraft to secondary cities due to infrastructure constraints in Manila. Completion of the second terminal in Cebu will increase the airport's annual capacity to 12.5 million passengers.

9 comments:

  1. How I wish CEB or PAL tap into the Eastern islands of Indonesia and Borneo making Cebu their hub to North Asia, Middle East, N. America and Europe.

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    1. not happening in the near future as there's not much traffic between Indonesia and Borneo from Cebu. Still Manila is the best hub that must be improved. But once the new terminal in MCIA will be up, I guess competition begins between MNL and CEB. Though the airport size itself is not sufficient if Cebu wants to be a global hub.

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  2. Passing through the tanim bala international airport for us is already history.

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  3. I'm from USA and have family in Central Mindanao. If I had a choice to fly to Manila or Cebu with a connecting flight to Cagayan De Oro, I'd take Cebu in a heartbeat especially with this new LAX-CEB flight. Mactan Intl Airport is less of a hassle unlike that embarrassment of an airport in Manila. With literally no room to expand for a new terminal and runway, its time to build a new airport outside of the city limits in Manila. You can make it a dual airport destination like Bangkok has at the moment. If you acquire land OUTSIDE of the city limits, you have more room to expand if needed be. Gotta think for the future.

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  4. The most intriguing is Emirates' acquiring traffic rights at Cebu, Clark and Manila. I remember very well the time years back when Emirates started its "new hands" at Milan Airport, Italy, later gradually gaining good airline reputation for its inflight, modern aircraft and other services, to the dismay of Alitalia, official airline of Italy. You know what happened next...I won't tell you. But Emirates has established itself as the favorite airline for Italians and other Europeans who go to Europe, Americas (including Panama City, its new destination). Cebu Pacific and PAL, be aware!
    Anyway, welcome to the Philippines Emirates, EVA, Xiamen or China Southern. The bottom line is nice competition!

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    1. Correct. If Emirates offers an airfare similar to PAL's LAX/Manila/LAX, flying A380 aircraft to Dubai and B777-200 to Manila, then you won't blame me for choosing the better airline! This is capitalism, big time!

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    2. The economics of demand and supply - The Philippines has now 100 million population which can be very promising to efficient airlines like Emirates, EVA Air, China Southern, etc.
      Compared to the populations of United Arab Emirates/Dubai and Taipei/Taiwan, these airlines are very lucky serving RP, one of the 20 most populated countries on earth.

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    3. Of those 100 million only a very tiny fraction can afford to travel so this is an apple-oranges comparison.

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  5. I just hope they will eventually fly direct from Cebu to Australia, Its frustrating to have to fly past Cebu up to Manila and then catch a domestic flight back down.

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