Airlines launching 4 new int'l flights from Cebu in March
MANILA, Philippines – Mactan-Cebu International Airport (MCIA), the country's second largest international gateway, will welcome 4 new international flights in March.
Flag carrier Philippine Airlines, Incorporated (PAL) earlier announced that it will start operating Cebu-Los Angeles and Los Angeles-Cebu flights on March 15. PAL will fly to these routes thrice weekly, using an Airbus 340-300.
EVA Air, meanwhile, will launch its daily Taipei-Cebu and Cebu-Taipei operations on March 27. The Taiwanese carrier will use an Airbus 321-200, a 184-seater, for these routes.
Xiamen Air also announced that it will start its Xiamen-Cebu and Cebu-Xiamen flights starting March 28. The Chinese carrier said it will operate thrice weekly flights for these routes, using a Boeing 737-800.
Meanwhile, Emirates said it will connect travelers in and near Cebu and Clark Freeport in Pampanga to Dubai starting March 30.
"Providing airline and route innovations for the travelling public are keystones of MCIA's transformation," Louie Ferrer, president of GMR-Megawide Cebu Airport Corporation (GMCAC), said in a statement.
"Many of these flights are a first for Cebu, which will draw inbound tourism and give strong support for export services," Ferrer added.
‘Best Transport Deal in Asia Pacific'
MCIA, the country's first airport public-private partnership (PPP) project, was named Best Transport Deal in Asia Pacific in the 2015 Partnership Finance International (PFI) Awards.
PFI is part of the Thomson Reuters Awards for Excellence, which recognizes corporate and individual successes in the global financial industry.
"It is a great privilege to be recognized by an institution such as Partnership Finance International," GMCAC Director Oliver Tan said.
Tan is also the chief financial officer of the consortium's local partner Megawide Construction Corporation.
Megawide has 3 other PPP projects under its belt.
It recently completed construction of over 7,000 classrooms for the PPP for School Infrastructure Project (PSIP) Phase 1 with the Department of Education.
The company is currently engaged in PSIP Phase 2, building close to 2,000 classrooms around Regions I, II, III and CAR. Megawide, through the consortium of MWM Terminals, was also awarded the contract to design, build, and operate the Southwest Integrated Transport System in 2015.
MCIA has a 25-year concession agreement that involves the renovation of Terminal 1. GMCAC said it has spent a total of $15 million on the renovation so far.
The agreement also includes the design, financing, construction, and operation of a second terminal, meant to accommodate the increasing passenger traffic.
In 2014, GMCAC reported that the number of airport passengers reached 7.2 million, well beyond the terminal's original capacity of 4.5 million passengers annually.
Passenger traffic is expected to reach 24 million by the end of the concession.
"MCIA as a PPP is extraordinary because of its potential to shape the region," Ferrer said.
"We want to attract more visitors to Cebu. Growth in passenger volume opens greater opportunities in commerce and tourism," Ferrer added. – Rappler.com