MANILA, Philippines?The number of passengers using Manila?s airport system grew by more than a tenth to nearly 25 million in 2009 with domestic tourism providing a boost despite tough global air travel conditions.
The Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) said it expects continued growth this year as economic conditions improve and international travel picks up.
?We were able to have very healthy domestic passenger growth rates due to the conducive environment brought about by low fares and marketing and tourism programs by the government,? said MIAA Assistant General Manager Tirso Serrano.
In an interview, Serrano, who is head of airport development at MIAA, said about 24.5 million people passed through Manila?s four airports in 2009, 11.36 percent higher than the 22 million the year before.
He noted that international passenger traffic stagnated in 2009, with more people choosing to postpone travel plans or just spend their vacations in the the country.
Serrano said last year?s growth was likely to be sustained with the likely improvement in international travel complemented by the continued growth in domestic traffic.
?We are projecting an additional two to three million additional passengers at least, coming from the domestic front alone,? Serrano said.
Manila?s airport system, comprised of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (Naia) Terminals 1, 2 and 3, and the Manila Domestic Passenger Terminal, has a maximum capacity of 33 million passengers a year.