More Cebu flights seen with MCIAA ISO certification

By: Jose Santino S. Bunachita November 05,2018 - 09:40 PM

The opening of the new Mactan Cebu International Airport’s terminal 2 is a sure boost to Cebu’s tourism industry. /CDN FILE PHOTO

MORE local and foreign airlines are seeing the need to fly to and from Cebu, following the opening of its new airport terminal.

And this trend is expected to continue in the coming months and years as the Mactan-Cebu International Airport (MCIA) recently attained the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 9001:2015 certification.

Mandaue Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI) President Stanley Go said that this certification proves that the MCIA is within global standards when it comes to quality management systems.

“In terms of competitiveness, this means we can compete against international and global airports. Having achieved this kind of standards open our market to global carriers,” Go told Cebu Daily News.

“With this ISO standard, these global carriers now have the option to consider Cebu as a hub also for them,” he added.

In fact, as early as now, some international airlines have started opening new routes to and from Cebu.

Tigerair Taiwan has announced that they will launch a new route to Cebu starting December 1, 2018.

This will be their first destination to the Philippines.

On the other hand, Cebu Pacific Air has announced that they will increase the frequency of their Cebu to Narita, Japan, route from four times a week to a daily flight. It will also start on December 1.

“We are happy to let everyone know in the Philippines that we will soon be serving flights from Cebu to Taipei. Tigerair Taiwan’s presence in Cebu shall give Filipinos more access to fun, affordable, and memorable flights to Taipei. We look forward to this development before the year ends,” said Tigerair Taiwan Commercial Director and Spokesperson Bernard Hsu in a statement.

Tigerair Taiwan is the only low-cost carrier in Taiwan. They will be flying from Taipei to Cebu and vice versa for four times a week.

Outbound flight IT537 will depart Taipei every Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday; while inbound flight IT538 will depart Cebu every Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday.

The MCIA has recently opened its new Terminal 2, which caters to international flights, last July 1.

It is expected to increase the MCIA’s total capacity to 12.5 million passengers a year.

Currently, the MCIA has at least 23 international destinations and 33 domestic destinations. They have a total of 26 partner airline carriers both local and international.

GMR-Megawide Cebu Airport Corp. (GMCAC), the private operator of the MCIA, has been aggressively doing airline marketing efforts to convince more airlines from new countries to fly to and from Cebu.

The addition of Tigerair Taiwan’s new route to Cebu will boost the airline’s network to 20 destinations with 27 routes from Korea, Japan, Macau, Thailand, and the Philippines.

To date, the airline has 11 Airbus A320 aircraft.

Taiwanese tourists are also among the top tourist market in Central Visayas.

Data from the Department of Tourism (DOT) 7 showed that in 2017, a total of 71,739 Taiwanese tourists visited the region.

This represents a 69.75 percent increase in arrivals from 2016 which was only at 42,261 tourists.

Taiwan is currently the fifth top tourism market for Central Visayas next to Korea, China, Japan, and USA.

Vismin to Japan

Meanwhile, Cebuanos and those from the rest of Visayas and Mindanao will have more flight options when planning to visit the land of the morning sun.

Cebu Pacific Air is set to increase the frequency of its Cebu to Narita route from four times a week to a daily flight.

“Japan is a popular destination among Filipino vacationers. We are giving passengers who hail from the Visayas and Mindanao a more practical and viable option to reach Japan with daily flights from Cebu. This is on top of flights from Manila to Narita, Osaka, Fukuoka and Nagoya,” said Alexander Lao, president and CEO of Cebgo, in a statement.

Those coming from areas like Bacolod, Iloilo, Cagayan de Oro or Davao can also fly to Japan easier through seamless flight schedules to Cebu and Narita as well as a one-time check-in for both domestic and international flights.

Lao said their Japan routes are one of the strongest growth drivers of Cebu Pacific, with passenger volume expanding by an average of 52 percent from April to June 2018.

On the other hand, the Philippines is also a popular destination among Japanese tourists.

Data from the DOT-7 showed that there were a total of 408,566 Japanese tourists who visited Central Visayas in 2017.

Japan is the third top tourist market for the region, next to Korea (first) and China (second).

There are also thousands of Japanese nationals living in the country as well as those studying English here due to proximity and relatively lower study and accommodation expenses.

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TAGS: certification, flights, ISO, MCIAA, more, seen

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