Entry of new airline partner boosts efforts to make MCIA a domestic hub

An aircraft from Royal Air gets the traditional departure water cannon salute during its inaugural flight on Tuesday, May 21, 2019. / GMCAC photo

CEBU CITY, Philippines—The efforts of GMR Megawide Cebu Airport Corp. (GMCAC) to make the Mactan Cebu International Airport (MCIA) a hub for domestic flights received a boost with the addition of a local airline as its newest airline partner.

“We are proud to be working with a carrier such as Royal Air Philippines who shares our vision to increase connectivity in the Central and Southern Philippines,” said GMCAC president Louie Ferrer.

MCIA now has seven Philippine-based airline partners and 18 foreign airline partners with 29 domestic destinations and 22 international destinations.

Royal Air offers direct flights to five domestic routes – Manila, Davao, Puerto Princesa, Cagayan de Oro and Caticlan – using a 97-seater Avro RJ100.

Ferrer called that the launch of Royal Air Philippines as ‘timely’ even as MCIA sees double digit growth in traffic.

“We greatly welcome the support of Royal Air and our partner carriers in increasing domestic connectivity from Cebu. Most tourist areas in Visayas and Mindanao are only 25-30 minutes flying time from MCIA and we will continue to push in making Cebu a hub for both domestic and international flights,” Ferrer said.

Ed Novillas, chief executive officer of Royal Air Philippines, disclosed that they would open additional routes from the Cebu hub with more aircraft coming in later in the year.

“Royal Air is serious in expanding our market reach across the southern region,” Novillas said.

For the first quarter of the year, domestic traffic at MCIA grew by 13 percent, reaching close to two million passengers.

On the other hand, international traffic went up by almost 10 percent to around one million passengers year-on-year. In the same period last year, total domestic passengers reached 1.7 million while international total passengers reached 931,652.

For the entire year of 2018, domestic passengers reached more than 7.6 million while international passengers reached over 3.766 million./dcb

TAGS: domestic flights, domestic hub, international passengers, MCIA, new airline partner, Royal Air, water canon salute
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