MANILA – The country’s air passenger traffic reached 38.3 million in 2014, 610,291 more than the 37.7 million recorded in 2013, the Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) said.
The 1.6 percent growth came amid the aggressive route expansion of Philippine Airlines (PAL) and Cebu Pacific.
CAB said international passenger traffic increased to nearly 18 million last year, 3.4 percent higher than the 17.3 million in 2013.
Domestic passenger traffic, however, was flat at 20.35 million in 2014 from 20.33 million in 2013.
For international flights, PAL and PAL Express flew a combined 5 million passengers while budget airline Cebu serviced 3.19 million passengers. Both airlines launched new long-haul routes and expanded international routes last year.
For domestic operations, PAL only flew 793,512 passengers, a drop of nearly 70 percent from the 2.58 million it serviced in 2013 as PAL Express took over most of domestic flights.
The volume of passengers carried by PAL Express to domestic destinations jumped 18 percent to 5.13 million last year from 4.35 million in 2013.
Cebu Pacific, on the other hand, flew 11.08 million domestic passengers, 8.2 percent higher than 10.24 million passengers in 2013.
Tiger Airway Philippines, which was recently rebranded to Cebgo, flew 1.3 million passengers, 34.5 percent more than the 969,753 passengers it serviced last year.
Data also show that 34.1 million international and domestic passengers used Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) last year, 4 percent higher than the 32.8 million in 2013.
Mactan Cebu International Airport Authority (MCIAA), meanwhile, saw a 2 percent decline in volume to 6.84 million last year from 6.99 million in 2013.
Government has been aggressive in pursuing air talks as part of its open skies policy. Air service deals with Singapore, Oman, and Australia were closed this year.
Air talks are set to be held with Mexico, Qatar, Australia, Russia, Turkey, Taiwan and Qatar within the year.
Last year, the Philippines signed air agreements with Ethiopia, South Africa, Macau, Canada, Myanmar, New Zealand, Singapore and France.