Air passengers hit 45M; flights on time

    Soaring high. Cebu Pacific continues to lead in the domestic routes where it 9.7 million passengers in the first nine months of the year.
    Soaring high. Cebu Pacific continues to lead in the domestic routes where it 9.7 million passengers in the first nine months of the year.

    The country’s air passenger volume reached 45 million from January to September, where Cebu Pacific leads in domestic operation and Philippine Airlines (PAL) leads in international operation, according to latest data by Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB).

    Meanwhile, the Department of the Transportation (DOTr) said both airlines posted improved on-time performances (OTPs) in October compared to the previous month.

    CAB data showed of the total 44.9 million passengers in first nine months of the year, 22.1 million passengers flew via domestic flights and 22.8 million via international flights.

    Cebu Pacific and unit CebGo flew 11.1 million  passengers during the period; 9.7 million and 1.4 million passengers, respectively.

    PAL and unit PAL Express had 6.6 million total passengers in their domestic routes; 5.4 million and 1.2 million, respectively.

    Philippine AirAsia handled 3.9 million passengers on domestic flights.

    CAB said 22.8 million passengers flew internationally of which 12.3 million were handled by domestic carriers and 10.5 million by international airlines..

    PAL carried 5.8 million passengers while Cebu Pacific carried 4.4 million and Philippine Air Asia, 1.9 million.

    Meanwhile, the DOTr said PAL achieved an all-time high OTP rating of 92 percent in October, an improvement from 82 percent and 89 percent for the months of July to September, respectively.

    OTP, a measure of aviation and airport efficiency, indicates the percentage of flight departures and arrivals that take place within 15 minutes from schedule, including cancellations.

    “This achievement was made possible because the DOTr, MIAA (Manila International Airport Authority) and CAAP (Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines) acted with determination to build rapid exit taxiways at NAIA (Ninoy Aquino International Airport), enhance air navigation systems, renovate runways and taxiways, improve the coordination of airport slots and take other initiatives to promote a more efficient Philippine aviation industry,” said Capt. Stanley Ng, PAL senior vice president for airline operations.

    According to the Air Carriers’ Association of the Philippines, in addition to PAL’s high on-time flight records, the combined OTP of several Philippine air carriers also increased to 78 percent in the July to September period, compared with the 65 percent and 62 percent ratings, respectively, for the first two quarters of 2019.

    Cebu Pacific posted an OTP of 84.71 percent for its October flights, better than the 80.66 percent in September, CAB data showed.

    “The improved OTP is a result of the close cooperation and coordination with concerned government agencies to minimize delays across our network. The industry is also better coordinated so that when there are weather disruptions, such as lightning alerts that close the airfield, we are able to minimize the impact,” said Michael Ivan Shau, Cebu Pacific chief operations officer.

    In June, PAL, Cebu Pacific and three other Philippine-based airline operators signed a pledge of commitment to help decongest NAIA through improved on-time flight performance, support the development of other gateways including Sangley Airport in Cavite, and improve the travel experience of air passengers.

    The DOTr required that the airline OTP be published daily to push for improved performance and promote the airlines’ accountability to the air passengers.