International flights from Cebu may return to pre-pandemic levels by 2023
LAPU-LAPU CITY, Philippines — Stakeholders of the Mactan Cebu International Airport (MCIA) are optimistic that the airport may return to its pre-pandemic liveliness by next year.
Executives of GMR-Megawide Cebu Airport Corp. (GMCAC) made this statement as they confirmed that additional flights connecting Cebu to destinations abroad had been mounted.
The latest airlines to restart their Cebu hubs are Korean Air, Jin Air and T’way. The three Korea-based airline companies have already reactivated their daily flights connecting Cebu and Incheon, GMCAC said.
Jin Air and Air Busan have also restarted their direct flights connecting Cebu and Busan, they added.
“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,” said Louie Ferrer, GMCAC president.
As more international flights resumed their operations in Mactan airport, officials and executives have expressed confidence they may be able to return passenger traffic and international flights may resume to their pre-pandemic levels this 2023.
“International traffic which has ramped up since May, is expected to achieve its pre-pandemic levels by end of Q2 (second quarter of) 2023,” GMCAC added.
Figures from the Mactan-Cebu International Airport Authority (MCIAA), the government body co-managing Mactan airport, showed that they have already accommodated 170,328 international passengers from January to June in 2022.
It was a 226 percent increase compared to the 52,249 passengers recorded during the same period in 2021.
These developments, according to airport officials, can also mean a lot to the revival of Cebu’s tourism industry.
“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,” said Julius Neri Jr., MCIAA general manager.
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