PH air traffic dips slightly in Q1 2014

Philippine air traffic experienced a minor decline of 2.6 percent in the first quarter of 2014. Total passenger volume decreased to 9.32 million compared to 9.576 million in the corresponding quarter of the previous year.

Philippine Airlines aircraft lined-up at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 2. Photo by Manuel Nierra III.

Data released by the Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) reveals a 1.5 percent increase in domestic passenger traffic, totaling 5.137 million, a gain from 5.062 million in the same period last year. Conversely, international passenger traffic saw a 7.1 percent decrease, dropping to 4.18 million from 4.5 million.

Civil Aeronautics Board Executive Director Carmelo Arcilla said:

It could also be attributable to the improvements in our airports, such as the upgrades in our night-landing capabilities.

Cebu Pacific maintained its dominance in the domestic market, carrying 2.65 million passengers. Philippine Airlines and PAL Express followed with 1.658 million, AirAsia Zest with 514,761, Tigerair Philippines with 216,169, AirAsia Philippines with 74,739, Island Voyager with 17,841, and SkyJet Airlines with 3,768.

Philippine carriers transported 2.27 million international passengers, while foreign airlines handled 1.91 million.

Arcilla observed:

We are expanding to more routes, for example, with local airlines operating in more destinations.

Meanwhile, domestic cargo operations exhibited a positive trend, registering a 19 percent increase amounting to 53.82 million kilograms transported by eight domestic airlines.

Cebu Pacific remained the leader, handling 25.89 million kilograms, up from 23 million in the previous year. Philippine Airlines took second place with 20.97 million kilograms, an increase from 17.48 million.