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Mactan-Cebu International Airport Terminal 2 | Photo from megawide.com.ph

Cargo shipped through Mactan-Cebu International Airport (MCIA) dropped 45% in the first half of 2020 as both foreign and domestic cargoes posted double-digit declines.

The airport handled 19.446 million kilograms (kg) in the first six months from 35.143 million kg year on year, data from Mactan-Cebu International Airport Authority (MCIAA) showed. Of the total, domestic cargoes represented 74% and foreign cargoes the rest.

For the first half of the year, domestic cargo volume dropped 45.4% to 14.462 million kg from 26.516 million kg last year.

International cargo traffic also declined 42.2% to 4.984 million kg from 8.627 million kg.

Domestic and international airlines began suspending flights out of the country’s second-busiest gateway in mid-March as the government implemented travel restrictions to prevent the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Only repatriation and cargo flights were allowed to operate then.

More flights were allowed starting June, following the easing of community quarantines nationwide, including in Cebu. International commercial flights, however, remain suspended. Sweeper or repatriation flights as well as rerouted flights from Manila are allowed.

MCIA serviced 24,255 flights in the first semester, 54.6% less than the 53,452 flights in the same period last year. Domestic flights slipped 53.4% to 18,603 flights from 39,929 flights las year. International flights likewise decreased 58.2% to 5,652 flights from 13,523 flights.

Passenger traffic posted a decline of 61.2% to 2.464 million in the first half of 2020 from 6.354 million in the same period last year. Domestic passengers were 60.1% less at 1.707 million from 4.282 million, while international passenger traffic recorded the highest decline of 63.5% to 756,369 from 2.072 million last year.

MCIAA and GMR Megawide Cebu Airport Corp recently opened a dedicated COVID-19 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing laboratory at MCIA as all arriving international passengers are required to undergo a COVID-19 PCR swab test.

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