NAIA 9-month passenger volume surpasses full-year 2022 total

Photo from Manila Interntaional Airport Authority.
  • Passenger volume at Ninoy Aquino International Airport in the first three quarters of 2023 has already surpassed the total for all of 2022
  • The volume from January to September is up 59% year-on-year
  • Flight movements grew 31%
  • Average on-time performance was 80% in September, matching the highest rate recorded earlier in March
  • The growth in passenger volume and flight movements reflects resilience and recovery of the aviation industry, with potential long-term impacts on cargo transport and logistics players in the sector, the Manila International Airport Authority said

Ninoy Aquino International Airport’s (NAIA) passenger volume for the first three quarters of 2023 has surpassed the entire 2022 volume.

The latest nine-month figure of 33,757,646 is 9% over the 2022 total passenger numbers of 30,943,105, according to the Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) in a statement.

From January to September this year, passenger traffic surged 59% year-on-year.

MIAA said the volume for the first three quarters is also equivalent to 95% of what was recorded in the same period in 2019, the last full year unaffected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Flight movements, both domestic and international, witnessed significant growth, with 206,050 flights taking off and landing at NAIA from January to September. This is a 31% increase year-on-year and a 2% uptick from the first three quarters of 2019.

Notably, the third quarter of 2023 has emerged as the strongest three-month period in terms of passenger volume and flight movement, outperforming the numbers from the first two quarters of this year.

July, in particular, stood out as the month with the highest passenger count in a single month, recording 4,185,555 travelers. August also made history by logging the highest number of flights in a month at 23,969.

“With this consistent growth, MIAA remains on track to achieve our year-end projections of 45 million passengers and 275,000 flights by the end of 2023. These projected flight estimates are poised to surpass the pre-pandemic levels of 2019, reflecting the resilience and recovery of the aviation industry in the Philippines,” said Bryan Co, officer-in-charge at MIAA.

Alongside passenger volume and flight movement growth, NAIA’s flight on-time performance (OTP) saw significant improvement. In September, MIAA achieved an average OTP of 80%, matching the highest average OTP rate recorded earlier in March.

According to international standards, flights departing and arriving at NAIA within 15 minutes of their scheduled times are considered on time.

This achievement represents a significant recovery from the low OTP of 60% experienced in early June, attributed to various challenges, including the temporary suspension of flight and ground operations due to a red lightning alert, as well as issues related to aircraft maintenance and spare parts that have affected major airline operations.

MIAA attributed the enhanced schedule reliability to a blend of software solutions and technology and vigilant monitoring.

The airport mitigated operational disruptions during red lightning alerts by using technology and real-time monitoring systems, resulting in a considerable improvement in OTP.

Additionally, close collaboration with airlines and aviation stakeholders to address industry challenges ensured the timely deployment of required resources to support flight schedules.

“MIAA remains committed to ensuring the safety, efficiency, and satisfaction of our travelers and stakeholders, and we will continue to work collaboratively with airlines and industry partners to sustain this positive trajectory in the months ahead,” Co said.

NAIA’s growth in passenger volume and flight movements in the first three quarters of 2023, along with improved flight on-time performance, reflects a recovering economy, increased trade activity, and the resilience of the country’s aviation industry, MIAA said.

These developments are expected to have a long-lasting impact on cargo transport and logistics players in the sector, who should be ready to capitalize on the opportunities presented by this surge in aviation activity, it added.

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