Domestic air travel recovered in the first nine months, with passenger volume rising to 16 million, fueled largely by the recovery in flight demand.
The Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) said yesterday that domestic passenger volume went up to 15.93 million as of September on the resurgence of travel and tourism activities.
The number of domestic travellers who flew during the period surpassed the 5.53 million posted for the entire 2021 and the 6.89 million recorded for the whole of 2020.
On a quarterly basis, CAB said domestic passenger traffic slid by three percent to 6.24 million in the third quarter from 6.43 million in the second quarter.
The third quarter performance was marked by elevated fuel surcharge rising to as high as Level 12 in August and the start of the typhoon season, both of which affected demand.
Budget carrier Cebu Pacific and its regional unit Cebgo accommodated about three in every five of the passengers that traveled around the Philippines from January to September. The airlines served a total of 9.25 million domestic guests during the stretch.
On the other hand, flag carrier Philippine Airlines (PAL) and its low-cost subsidiary PAL Express flew 4.1 million passengers, followed by AirAsia Philippines with 2.45 million, AirSwift Transport Inc. with 135,056 and Island Aviation Corp. with 6,166.
CAB said international passenger volume also surged to 6.31 million as of September, exceeding the 2.2 million in 2021 and the 6.25 million in 2020.
Foreign airlines serviced 61 percent of the traffic at 3.82 million, while Philippine carriers took up the other 39 percent at 2.49 million.
CAB said that more than a third, or 2.16 million, of guests who went out of the country used PAL’s services. Cebu Pacific flew 251,632 passengers, ahead of AirAsia Philippines with 73,577, Royal Air Charter Services with 837 and Astro Air International with 119.
For the holiday season, Cebu Pacific announced that it would double the number of weekly flights to Seoul to 14 and to Brunei to four.
Likewise, weekly flights to Jakarta, Taipei and Hong Kong will also be raised in time for the Christmas season.
PAL also introduced new flights from Clark to South Korea, particularly Seoul and Busan, and to Hong Kong in line with its strategy of improving connectivity in the regions.
AirAsia Philippines aims to achieve 100 percent of its pre-pandemic international capacity within the first semester of 2023 after reaching its pre-crisis domestic levels for flights originating from Manila.