Enterprise Travel

MCIA welcomed close to 5.6 million passengers in 2022

Terminal 2 of Mactan Cebu International Airport (MCIA) | CDN Digital File Photo

CEBU CITY, Philippines — Air and passenger traffic at the Mactan-Cebu International Airport (MCIA) are gradually regaining its pre-pandemic levels. 

For 2022, the country’s second busiest airport accommodated approximately 5.6 million passengers, data from the Mactan-Cebu International Airport Authority (MCIAA) showed. The figures are a 409 percent increase compared to the 1 million they posted in 2021. 

Domestic passengers still account for most of MCIA’s foot traffic, at 4,870,471 while the number of international passengers that went through Mactan airport in 2022 increased to 689,787, from 146,501 in 2021. 

Airport officials earlier attributed the growth in passenger volume to the easing of COVID-19 restrictions that put all leisure travels to a grinding halt for two years. The Philippine government allowed fully vaccinated foreign tourists to visit the country without quarantine in February 2022. 

Aside from passenger volume, MCIAA also posted a triple-digit increase in the percentage of air traffic. The Mactan airport saw a total of 54,997 flights going in and out in the previous year, of which 48,470 operate domestically. It was 260 percent higher compared to the 15,287 recorded in 2021. 

While MCIA’s latest numbers provided another assurance on the travel industry’s steady recovery, airport operators said more work needs to be done in order to restore their pre-COVID operations, particularly in connecting Cebu to overseas destinations. 

Global travel data provider OAG reported that the Mactan airport, as of February, currently serves at least eight international routes, with Taiwan as its latest addition. The airport also has 26 routes covering domestic destinations and is the hub of 19 airline companies, both local and international. 

Executives from the GMR-Megawide Cebu Airport Corporation (GMCAC), in a case study published in aviation marketing and research firm Routes Online’ Routes Daily  newsletter, dated Feb. 15, planned on reopening more destinations abroad. 

“We closed 2022 with about half of our destinations reopened, but the number of pre-pandemic international passengers was lower by 64 percent,” Aines Librodo, head of airline marketing and tourism development at GMCAC, was quoted as saying.  

MCIA officials also considered mounting flights that will connect the island province directly to Southeast Asian nations like Kuala Lumpur and Vietnam.


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TAGS: Cebu airport, Cebu Daily News, cebu news, GMR Megawide Cebu Airport Corp. (GMCAC), Mactan-Cebu International Aiport, MCIA
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