Top Operating International Airlines

As of June 2009
1 Philippine Airlines PR 1,740,143
2 Cebu Pacific 5J 797,521
3 Cathay Pacific CX 735,817
4 Singapore Airlines SQ 272,008
5 Asiana Airlines OZ 252,273
6 Northwest Airlines NW 233,670
7 Emirates Airlines EK 229,800
8 Qatar Airways
QR 212,798
9 Japan Airlines JO 215,746
10 Korean Airlines KE 196,507

As of June 2009
1 Cebu Pacific 5J 3,614,966
2 Philippine Airlines PR 3,207,060
3 Zest Airways Z2 433,576
4 Air Philippines
2P 254,244
5 Seair DG 83,132

Source: Civil Aeronautics Board
DOTC, Republic of the Philippines

September 3, 2009

The Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) reported that a total of 6.26 million passengers flew in and out of the country in the first 6 months of the year. The figure is slightly lower than 6.29 million recorded in the same period in 2008.

There were more outgoing than incoming traffic. Incoming passengers stood at 3.01 million down from 3.02 million, while outgoing passengers stood at 3.25 million up from 3.03 million.

PAL heads the list with 1,740,143 international passengers down 9% from 1.92 million in the same period last year. The flag carrier’s incoming traffic stood at 821,658 from 926,377, while outgoing passengers reached 918,485 from 989,965.

Cebu Pacific registered positive growth after they carried 797,521 international passengers, higher than the 671,738 it carried last year, owing to additional frequencies in Hong Kong and Singapore during the period.

Cathay Pacific heads the foreign airlines category by carrying the most passengers (735,817) down -0.8%, followed by Singapore Airlines (272,008), -5.2% Asiana Airlines (252,273), +74.89% Northwest Airlines (233,670) -11.54%, Emirates Air (229,800) +4.15%; Qatar Airways(212,798) +19.98%; Japan Airlines (215,746) -3.08%, Korean Air (196,507) -13.67%, Thai Airways (147,947), China Airlines (141,781), and Gulf Air (141,399).

The CAB attributed the decline in passenger traffic to the global economic slowdown. Passenger traffic is expected to slow down further in the second half due to curtailed spending habits of foreign tourists. However, the Philippines registered the lowest decline in traffic reported in Asia Pacific region with other countries registering drop of 7.6% year on year basis.

There are 43 foreign carriers with operating permits to fly in and out of the country. But only 32 airlines operated during the period with the rest either suspending or ceasing operations indefinitely.

The CAB said Garuda Indonesia cut Manila as a destination in 1997 largely due to the Asian Financial Crisis. However code-share arrangement with PAL was entered in 1998 and 2001. Canadian Airlines, the precursor of Air Canada, stopped operating in 1999, while flights of Pakistan International Airlines were also suspended on the same year due to operating losses. Air Nauru and Vietnam Airlines ceased flying to the Philippines in 2001 but Vietnam maintains a code-sharing arrangement with PAL.

In 2002, British Airways suspended operations to London due to losses mainly attributed to the 911 New York bombing while Swissair filed for bankruptcy. Meanwhile Egyptair suspended flights in 2004 due to poor loads. P.T. Bouraq filed for bankruptcy and Air France rationalized operations with KLM also in 2004 when both airlines merged its Asian operations. The latest airline that left Manila was Lufthansa in April 2008 due to stiff competition by Mideast carriers.

New International Airline operators are also lining up to fly the Philippine skies among them Afriqiyah Airways of Libya scheduled to launch services this month to Tripoli on a thrice weekly schedule via Dubai.

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