Philippine authorities will subsidize landing and take-off charges at Mactan-Cebu International Airport (MCIA) to help stimulate international and regional traffic and ease Manila’s chronically congested Ninoy Aquino International Airport.
Although the subsidies (30%-75% reductions for international and 30%-65% for regional flights) will add to the airport’s pressure on its single runway and current facilities, its geolocation at the heart of the Philippines makes it highly attractive for transfer passengers traveling to secondary tourist and industry locations.
The airport’s 10,800 ft. runway serves some 13 airlines operating just over 150 daily aircraft movements, although the airport saw a 2.1% drop in passenger numbers in 2014 from 67 million in 2013.
The rebate plan—which was initially slated initially for one year but may be extended—came as a result of discussions between carriers such as Cebu Pacific, Philippine Airlines (PAL) and AirAsia Philippines, which are all increasingly using MCIA as a regional hub.
“This incentive program will benefit the entire airline ecosystem from local and national government down to airport ground handlers,” Mactan-Cebu International Airport Authority (MCIAA) GM Nigel Paul Villarete said.
Local flag carrier PAL recently reinstated schedules to Butuan, Bacolod, Cagayan de Oro, Iloilo, Davao, and Tacloban from Mactan, which had been mothballed in 2014. AirAsia Group’s expansion of MCIA as a regional hub has seen it boost seat capacity from the airport to some 30,000 seats a week from only two-thirds that number in 2013.