Thursday, 12 February 2009

4 carriers moving to NAIA 3

Recto Mercene
Business Mirror

SOME airlines that deferred their transfer to the new Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 3 have changed their minds and are transferring sometime before June this year after the old Terminal 1 exceeded its 7-million passenger capacity, making it overcrowded.

General manager Alfonso Cusi of the Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) said that at the end of the year, perhaps up to four international air carriers would have transferred to Terminal 3 (T3), but did not identify them, only saying none fly to the United States.

“We have reached an agreement that these air carriers would transfer to T3 as part of a bargain that we have arrived at,” Cusi told a media forum at the Sofitel Hotel on Tuesday.

He said the Miaa expects international traffic in Manila to rise by 2 percent to 3 percent this year, while domestic air travel is seen to have only a more modest growth.

He reported that in 2008, international passenger traffic was at 10.7 million and domestic traffic was 9.7 million, for a total of 20.4 million passengers.

By 2013, the MIAA forecasts 11.3 million international passengers and 10.3 million domestic passengers for a total of 21.6 million passengers; and in its long view, the figure would be 39 million by 2018.

As the movement of passengers between T1 and T2 is seen to rise, Cusi said a monorail would be constructed next year to link them; it’s estimated to cost P300 million and be completed in three years.

“We intend to use our own revenue for the construction of this monorail, which is less than a kilometer long, although eventually, it would be extended up to T3,” said Cusi, revealing the MIAA had revenues of P8 billion last year.

They expect the Philippines to continue to register greater passenger arrivals despite the crisis, citing the healthy growth of deployment in overseas Filipino workers. OFW arrival last year was recorded at 25 percent of terminal capacity.

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