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Cebu airport’s cargo volume slips 19% in 1Q

  • Cargo volume handled by Mactan-Cebu International Airport (MCIA) dropped 19% in the first quarter of 2021, with domestic cargoes posting a 36.4% decline
  • International cargo was the only one to register an increase, expanding by 29%
  • Flights decreased 84.6% while passenger traffic fell 91.5%

Cargo volume handled by Mactan-Cebu International Airport (MCIA) dropped 19% in the first quarter of 2021 to 13.034 million kilograms (kg) from 16.185 million kg in the same period last year, data from the Mactan-Cebu International Airport Authority (MCIAA) showed.

Of the total, domestic cargoes accounted for 58% while the remaining 42% were foreign cargoes.

Domestic cargoes declined 36.4% in the first three months of the year to 7.613 million kg from 11.979 million kg in the same period in 2020.

Registering the only increase for the period were international cargoes, which grew 29% to 5.421 million kg from 4.206 million kg.

According to data from MCIA, cargoes handled by one of the country’s busiest gateways declined sharply in April and May 2020 after the community quarantines were imposed nationwide starting mid-March last year. Volumes started to pick up by June when quarantines were relaxed and more flights were allowed, and volumes have continued to maintain a certain level since then. For domestic cargoes, though, volumes are still below pre-pandemic levels.

Flights in the first quarter were still below pre-pandemic levels, posting an 84.6% drop to 3,543 flights from 23,019 flights in the first quarter of last year.

Domestic flights fell 83% to 3,006 flights from 17,631 flights, while international flights decreased 90% to just 537 flights from 5,388 flights.

Passenger traffic was still low due to continuing travel restrictions, registering a 91.5% decline to 207,045 from 2.430 million in the first quarter of 2020.

The number of domestic passengers was 88.8% lower at 188,686 from 1.681 million, while international passenger traffic was down 97.5% to 18,359 from 749,262.

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

MCIA terminal operator GMR Megawide Cebu Airport Corp. earlier said the consolidation was meant to streamline operations and maximize terminal efficiencies while aircraft movement and passenger traffic remained slow.

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

READ: Expanded Mactan-Cebu airport taxiway inaugurated

Recently, MCIA’s taxiway has been expanded, raising the airport’s maximum aircraft movement capacity to 40 aircraft per hour from the previous 35 aircraft per hour.

The expanded taxiway, which was inaugurated last May 5, also raised the airport’s maximum aircraft parking capacity to 50 aircraft slots from the previous 40.

A new CAAP administration building located within the MCIA complex was also completed and inaugurated.

Meanwhile, eyed for inauguration in July 2021 is the new MCIAA corporate building, which will house more employees in a single building with better equipment and facilities.

A second runway at MCIA is also being constructed and eyed for completion in May 2022.

As part of the airport’s upgrade works, MCIAA has fully rehabilitated and improved the general aviation terminal building, extended the aircraft parking apron, as well as constructed the transportation and heavy equipment division, maintenance road and secondary perimeter fence.

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