MINERVA BC NEWMAN
MACTAN, Cebu –- More Korean air carriers resumed direct flights to Korea from Mactan-Cebu International Airport (MCIA) while the percentage of domestic flights at MCIA has already returned to 70 percent and international traffic which has ramped up since May is expected to achieve its pre-pandemic levels by end of the second quarter of 2023.
Louie Ferrer, President of GMR-MEGAWIDE Cebu Airport Corporation (GMCAC) said, the return of direct flights to Korea and other international flights is a positive signal for the recovery of the travel and aviation sector.
“Korea comprised our main international traffic pre- pandemic, followed by other ASEAN countries. We are very glad to welcome them back to Cebu and to assist the ongoing tourism build-up in the region,” Ferrer added.
Tourism stakeholders in Cebu were very optimistic for the recovery this year as the Philippines welcomed back fully vaccinated foreign travelers in February and Cebu was recently named as one of the Best Islands in the World by international magazine Travel + Leisure.
MCIAA General Manager and CEO Julius Neri, Jr. said as more air carriers resume flights direct to South Korea, it is a significant milestone for rebuilding the travel industry in the island of Cebu. “We are pleased to welcome them back and we look forward to continuing our shared success.”
Regular international flights return to MCIA. Daily flights to Incheon are operated by Korean Air, Jin Air, T’way and Jeju Air while flights to Busan are operated by Jin Air and Air Busan.
Philippine carrier Cebu Pacific Air also started flights from Cebu to Incheon. South Korea is the first international destination that the airline is restarting from its Cebu hub. Other international destinations added were Singapore via Singapore Airlines, Scoot and Cebu Pacific; Hong Kong via Cathay Pacific; Daegu via T’Way. EVA Air has also revived their commercial flights to Taipei.
Domestic routes get a boost as the country starts economic recovery. As part of the continuous ramp up of domestic flights, Philippine Airlines is now operating daily flights to Manila, Davao, Cagayan de Oro, Caticlan, Iloilo, Tacloban, and Siargao.
AirAsia, on the other hand, added four daily flights to Manila and flights to Caticlan. Cebu Pacific also operates daily flights to Manila, Camiguin, Davao, Dumaguete, Busuanga, and Butuan.
Flights to Cagayan de Oro, Bacolod, Clark, General Santos, Caticlan, Iloilo, Ozamis, Puerto Princesa, Tacloban, Siargao, and Zamboanga also increased.