MCIA continues to tap Korean market

By Jessa Mae O. Sotto |December 23,2018 - 11:11 PM

More Korean nationals are expected to visit the Philippines especially Cebu with the opening of a direct flight route from the Mactan Cebu International Airport to another South Korean destination – Muan, South Korea.

Another direct flight route added, four destinations in S. Korea now connected to Cebu

Cebu’s international airport is expanding its international flight connectivity by opening another direct flight to South Korea, which continues to be the Philippines’ top tourism market.

Avigael Maningo, corporate affairs and branding head of GMR-Megawide Cebu Airport Corp. (GMCAC), said that the new direct flight to Muan, South Korea, with the Korean carrier Jeju Air, would help boost connectivity with international destinations, particularly South Korea.

“We are delighted to welcome this new flight and we are happy that Cebu is now connected to more international destinations,” Maningo said in a text message on Saturday.

Last Saturday (Dec. 22), the Korean low-cost carrier Jeju Air had started operating their direct flight route from Mactan Cebu International Airport (MCIA) to Muan.

There will be five flights in a week using the Boeing 737-800 aircraft with 189 all economy class seats.

“We are very delighted to welcome Jeju Air’s newest service and we are looking forward to expand Cebu’s connectivity to other Korean destinations,” Aines Librodo, GMCAC head of airline marketing and tourism development, said in a statement.

The Cebu to Muan route is the fourth direct flight route connecting South Korea to the Mactan Cebu International Airport (MCIA).

The other areas with direct flights from South Korea to Cebu are Seoul Incheon, Pusan and Daegu.

According to the Department of Tourism (DOT), 1,178,778 Korean nationals visited the country between January to September 2018, which make them still the largest number of foreigners visiting the country this year.

The DOT said that an estimated 5.4 million foreigners visited the country from Jan. to Sept. this year with the estimated 1.2 million Koreans getting a 22 percent share of the total number of visitors in that period.

The Chinese nationals were the second highest number of visitors in the country in that period this year with 972,550 followed by the Americans with 774, 657.

Maningo also said that they were planning to open more direct international flights in other international destinations.

“Our goal is to boost the connectivity of Cebu to other international destinations in Asia, Europe, and Australia,” Maningo said.

Currently, MCIA is connected to 30 domestic and 20 international destinations.

Moreover, the MCIA is also a partner of at least eight Philippine-based airlines and 16 foreign airlines.

Aside from that, the Mactan Cebu International Airport has recently been recognized for its global standards for quality management system and attained the certification of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 9001:2015.

It was also named as one of Asia’s Best Airports this year.

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