More International Airlines Seen To Serve Cebu in 2016

Image Source: Cebu Daily News

First concrete pouring for new passenger terminal set for early December

Foot traffic at the Mactan Cebu International Airport (MCIA) is expected to increase by five to seven percent over the long term, with the additional flights and increased flight frequencies starting next year, an official said.

Two new routes will start in March next year, said MCIA general manager Nigel Paul Villarete.

“There’s one direct flight from Cebu to LA (Los Angeles) that will start in March. There are also two airlines that will start operations for direct flights from Cebu to Taipei, also in March,” Villarete said.

Talks are ongoing with several other airlines for two other possible routes next year.

So far, Villarete said one direct flight to mainland United States and another for Middle East are in the works.

“These (talks) are things that will happen in the next months and years to come but we are very hopeful. We are almost certain that we will have a direct flight to the Middle East some time next year,” Villarete said.

Discussions with the Middle East carriers began in early 2013, while discussions with the US airlines began in 2014. Since then, Villarete said they have been threshing out all issues and constraints the carriers may have in coming to Cebu.

Villarete also said that the management is hopeful that the talks will begin bearing fruit as early as next year and more carriers will start flying directly to Cebu.

The Mactan Airport currently serves more than seven million passengers a year, nearly double the 4.5 million capacity of its existing passenger terminal.

The airport is undergoing a P17.5-billion upgrading project which will increase its capacity to 12.5 million passengers a year. The project is being undertaken through public-private partnership by concessionaire GMR-Megawide Cebu Airport Corp.

Villarete said land development has started for the new passenger terminal, which is targeted for completion in 2018.

Slated at the end November or at latest, by early December, is the first concrete pouring for the terminal.

“I don’t think that there will be any delays to the development. We will have a new terminal by 2018,” Villarete said.

Source: Vanessa Claire Lucero,

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