While Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) saw a slight improvement in its cargo volumes for the first eight months of 2016, Visayas’ main air hub, Mactan-Cebu International Airport (MCIA), posted a double-digit dip for the same period, separate data from their operating agencies showed.
The Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) said cargo traffic in NAIA rose 5% to 405,448.33 metric tons during January to August 2016 from 384,734.13 metric tons in the same period last year.
Of the total, foreign air shipments accounted for 54% or 209,492.51 metric tons, 4.8% lower than last year’s 220,066.04 metric tons.
Domestic cargoes contributed 195,955.82 metric tons. This is 19% higher than last year’s 164,668.09 metric tons.
The International Air Transport Association reported that global air freight markets in August 2016 showed a 3.9% rise in demand year-on-year. Asia-Pacific airlines, in particular, witnessed a 2.8% increase in demand compared to last year.
Flights in the Philippines’ main gateway for the first eight months, meanwhile, increased 4% to 174,364 flights from 167,045 flights year-on-year. Passenger traffic continues to grow, recording 26.873 million passengers for the period, or 8.9% higher than last year’s 24.67 million.
Data from the Mactan-Cebu International Airport Authority, on the other hand, showed air cargo lifted at the Visayas’ main hub dove 30.9% to 43.070 million kilograms from 62.321 million kg in the first eight months of 2015. Foreign cargoes reported a sharp drop of 25% to 10.605 million kg from 14.078 million kg while domestic shipments declined 32.7% to 32.465 million kg from 48.242 million kg.
Flights were up 3.4% to 47,716 flights from 46,158 flights. Passenger traffic also grew 13.6% to 5.947 million from 5.234 million in 2015.
Several airlines have either started or expanded direct flights from Cebu to local and international destinations since February while a new one will start direct Cebu-Japan flights by the end of the year.
Construction of Terminal 2 is on schedule and the terminal is expected to operate by June 2018. – Roumina Pablo