International Traffic up 9.6 percent

Registers 3.4 million in 1st Quarter

June 3, 2010

International passenger traffic in the Philippines grew by 9.6 percent, data from the Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) said Wednesday totaling to 3.4 million in the first quarter from 3.1 million a year earlier.

There were 1.63 million incoming passengers while 1.804 million left the country during the first 3 months of the years CAB added.

“There’s very vibrant competition between local airlines and there are many products in the market, so consumers have lots of choices," CAB executive director Carmelo Arcilla said.

Flag carrier Philippine Airlines (PAL) carried the most number of passengers but grew slower than the industry average in terms of passengers served in the first three months of the year. The Lucio Tan-led airliner carried 942,144 passengers, up 6.9 percent year-on-year.

Meanwhile, Cebu Pacific recorded a 36-percent growth in international passengers totaling 492,114 in the same period.

Zest Air also carried 15,283 passengers in the first three months with no comparative numbers from a year earlier as it was still in the process of activating domestic and international destinations.

The airline regulator said that of the 44 airline carriers with authority to operate in the country, only 36 airlines managed to operate during the period.

The CAB said Air Nauru and Vietnam Airlines ceased flying to the Philippines in 2001 while British Airways stopped flying to the Philippines in 2002. Swissair, Egyptair, Air France and P.T. Bouraq also stopped flying to manila in 2004 while Lufthansa Airlines terminated its operations in April 2008.

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