’12 passenger traffic growth below expectation at 6%
International airline passenger traffic to the Philippines grew below expectations last year as carriers struggled to add capacity into Manila due to airport congestion, the government reported this week.
Data released by the Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) showed that incoming and outgoing airline traffic grew by just 6 percent versus the forecast of a double-digit growth.
The disappointing increase in passenger traffic coincides with Department of Tourism data that showed international tourist arrivals growing below the government’s targets.
Tourist arrivals to the Philippines rose from 3.7 million in 2011 to 4.3 million in 2012, falling short of the government’s target of 4.6 million. The administration is aiming to raise tourist arrivals to 10 million by 2016.
In a recent interview, Manila International Airport Authority general manager Angel Honrado said terminal capacity at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (Naia) had reached its peak.
This has forced Manila’s airport operators to turn away airlines that plan to increase flights to the country’s main international hub.
The problem has also reached Cebu City, where operators of the Mactan-Cebu International Airport (MCIA) last month asked the CAB to defer approval of new flights to Visayas’ main airport due to limited terminal capacity.
International passenger traffic in January to December 2012, accounting for passengers coming into and leaving the country on commercial flights, increased by 6.82 percent year-on-year to 16.74 million.
The growth in international travel was slower than the 9.64-percent increase in domestic traffic reported by the CAB for the same period.
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