Tuesday, 8 April 2008

Passenger traffic rises to 11.23M

By Lenie Lectura
The Business Mirror

ARRIVING passengers, majority of them tourists and a lot of balikbayans, toward the Christmas holidays increased by nearly 20 percent last year over 2006 while overall international passenger traffic in 2007, which includes outbound, grew by almost 11 percent to 11.23 million from 10.13 million the previous year.

The Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) reported 30 airlines transported the 11.24 million outbound and inbound passengers during the period, with Philippine Airlines (PAL) carrying the most number or 2.38 million, of which 1.8 million were bound overseas.

Of the total traffic, 5.8 million were outbound and 5.43 million inbound. In 2006 arriving passengers reached 4.56 million, with 5.26 million outbound.

Cebu Pacific carried 1.02 million passengers both ways because it only has 12 international destinations. PAL has 25 destinations, mostly among domestic airlines.

Asian Spirit had 8,052 international passengers versus the 5,810 last year.

Foreign carriers Cathay Pacific Airways carried 1.33 million passengers last year; Singapore Airlines, 537,362; Northwest Airlines, 497,916; Japan Airlines, 435,429; Emirates Air, 448,482; and Korean Air, 414,319.

The CAB also reported that domestic passenger traffic in 2007 grew by 22.7 percent to 10.39 million from 8.47 million in 2006, aided by aggressive pricing strategies of the competing carriers.

Cebu Pacific carried 4.45 million domestic passengers and PAL transported 4.03 million. Air Philippines had 1.17 million domestic passengers; Asian Spirit, 484,482; and Seair, 245,020.

Air Philippines is 99-percent owned by the Lucio Tan Group, which also owns 95 percent of PAL.

In total, the country’s domestic load factor in 2007 stood at 78 percent from 73 percent in 2006. The number of seats allocated during the period also increased to 13.34 million from 11.61 million. Cargo also rose to 142.7 million kg last year as against 132.64 million kg a year earlier.

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