PHL's 2013 air passengers increased much slower by 1% to 37.7M – CAB report
Airline passenger volume in the Philippines grew at a much slower pace last year as a result of the realignment and consolidation of carriers and the cancellation of flights as a results of bad weather and other natural calamities.
Domestic and international passengers totaled 37.67 million last year, up a mere 345,444 or about 1 percent from 37.31 million in 2012, Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) data showed.
This compares with the 11.7 percent growth 37.31 million in 2012 from 33.42 million in 2011.
The volume of domestic passengers dropped 1.1 percent to 20.33 million last year from 20.57 million in 2012, mainly on inclement weather and the closure of the Francisco Bangoy International Airport in Davao for three days in June after a Cebu Pacific aircraft skidded off the runway.
Apart from the Davao incident, CAB deputy executive director Porvenir Porciuncula cited, the attack staged by the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) in Zamboanga last September, the earthquake in Bohol province last October, and Super Typhoon Yolanda last November.
“These events resulted to the closure of several airports and cancellation of several flights for several days,” the CAB official said.
However, the volume of international passengers increased by 3.5 percent to 17.32 million from 16.74 million with the launch of long-haul flights to Europe and the Middle East.
The higher volume of international passengers was a result of the aggressive campaign by the Department of Tourism to attract more visitors to the Philippines, Porciuncula said.
Jorenz Tañada, Cebu Pacific spokesperson, noted the latest numbers from CAB reflect an ample amount of room for growth in the airline industry.
“It is an exciting time for Cebu Pacific and the Philippine aviation industry as a whole,” Tañada said.
“These results show that there is indeed room for growth in the industry and we look forward to working closely with the government on initiatives aimed at realizing the Philippines' full tourism and trade potential,” the Cebu Pacific official added.
The Tourism Department reported last month that tourist arrivals grew by 9.6 percent to 4.68 million last year from 4.27 million a year earlier.
Cebu Pacific accounted for 10.24 million domestic passengers last year. PAL Express flew 4.35 million passengers, and parent PAL ferried 2.58 million.
AirAsia Zest was responsible for 1.99 million domestic passenger, and Tiger Airways Philippines for 969,753.
Cathay Pacific, Emirates, Singapore Airlines, Korean Air, Etihad, and Asiana Airlines accounted for 9.13 million international passengers.
PAL was responsible for 4.15 million international passengers, Cebu Pacific for 2.82 million, AirAsia Zest for 617,188, Tigerair Philippines for 270,344, AirAsia Inc. for 215,229, and PAL Express for 115,959. – VS, GMA News