The country’s air passenger traffic increased by 10 percent in January to June this year compared to the same period last year driven by the local airlines’ continued expansions, according to data from the Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB).
CAB data showed there were 30.5 million domestic and international passengers in the first half this year, from 27.7 million in the same period last year, of which 15.2 million were from the domestic operation and 15.3 million from the international operation.
The country’s leading low-cost carrier Cebu Air Inc., which operates Cebu Pacific (CEB), and its subsidiary CEBGo flew 10.6 million passengers in the first half, up 8 percent from 9.8 million a year ago.
CEB remained the leading domestic airline having flown 7.6 million passengers in the first semester, up 5.6 percent from 7.2 million last year for the same period.
Philippines Airlines (PAL) unit PAL Express which operates mostly domestic routes flew 4.6 million passengers in first six months, up 12.7 percent from 4.08 million last year.
Low-cost carrier Philippines AirAsia’s passenger volume for domestic operations rose 8.3 percent to 2.6 million six months into the year, from 2.4 million a year ago.
For the international operation, CAB data showed of the 15.3 million passengers served in January to June this year, 8.2 million were from the domestic airlines and 7.1 million from foreign airlines.
Flag carrier PAL kept its lead in the international operation with 3.83 million passengers served during the period, same as last year’s 3.8 million passengers.
Passengers which flew via CEB’s international routes grew 5 percent to 3 million, from 2.6 million last year.
Philippines AirAsia’s passenger volume jumped 60 percent to 1.3 million in the first half, from 811,902 passengers last year.
Local airlines have been aggressive in expanding their operations in key hubs such as Clark International Airport, the Cebu and Davao airports amid the congestion at the country’s premier gateway, Ninoy Aquino International Airport.