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Cebu airport cargo volume sinks 43% in 2020

  • Cargo volume handled by Mactan-Cebu International Airport (MCIA) plunged 42.7% in 2020 from 2019 as flights dropped more than 70% due to COVID-19 travel restrictions
  • Flights in 2020 decreased 76.2% while passenger traffic recorded a 78.3% contraction

Cargo volume handled by Mactan-Cebu International Airport (MCIA) plunged 42.7% to 43.854 million kilograms (kg) in 2020 from 76.571 million kg in 2019 as flights dropped more than 70% due to travel restrictions imposed to prevent the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

Of the total volume, 67% or 29.447 million kg were domestic cargoes, which declined 50% from 58.664 million kg handled in 2019, data from Mactan-Cebu International Airport Authority (MCIAA) showed.

Foreign cargoes, which accounted for 33% of the total, likewise fell 19.5% to 14.408 million kg last year from 17.907 million kg in 2019.

Flights in 2020 decreased 76.2% to 29,548 flights from 107,794 flights in 2019. Domestic flights dropped 71.3% lower to 22,747 flights from 79,282 flights, while international flights were down 75% to 6,801 flights from 28,512 flights in 2019.

Domestic and international airlines started suspending flights out of the country’s second busiest gateway in mid-March as the government restricted travel to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the country. More flights were allowed starting June, following the easing of community quarantines nationwide, including in Cebu.

Passenger traffic recorded a 78.3% contraction to 2.749 million passengers last year from 12.662 million passengers in 2019.

Of the total, 1.942 million were domestic passengers, a decline of 76.8% from 8.370 million in 2019. International passenger traffic also fell 81.2% to 806,556 passengers from 4.292 million passengers in 2019.

Since November, all passenger and aircraft operations at MCIA have been consolidated at Terminal 1 (T1) except for international arrivals which remain at Terminal 2 (T2).

READ: Mactan Cebu Airport to consolidate operations at Terminal 1

MCIA terminal operator GMR Megawide Cebu Airport Corp. earlier said the consolidation would streamline operations and maximize terminal efficiencies during this period of reduced aircraft movement and passenger traffic.

T1 had been dedicated to domestic airlines since the second half of 2018 when T2 was inaugurated and designated the terminal for international flights.

Upgrade works are currently being undertaken at MCIA, including the construction of a second runway that is eyed for completion in May 2022.

READ: Completion of Cebu airport runway by mid-2022 pushed

MCIAA has already completed the rehabilitation and improvement of the general aviation terminal building, extension of the existing aircraft parking apron, as well as the construction of the transportation and heavy equipment division, maintenance road and secondary perimeter fence.

The airport’s multi-purpose hall, which will serve as the evacuation facility of MCIA, is also finished.

The taxiway and other facilities are still being constructed. – Roumina Pablo

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