PH air traffic continues to plummet

Air passenger traffic across the country’s airports, both domestic and international, sank by 73.8 percent, battered by the coronavirus crisis.

Data from the Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) showed that the country’s total passenger volume plunged to 2.95 million passengers in the first half from 11.3 million in the same period a year ago amid tighter border controls to curb the spread of the virus.

Domestic passenger traffic fell 66 percent to two million from 5.3 million.

Cebu Pacific flew the most number of domestic passengers with 921,297 followed by PAL Express (527,566), AirAsia Philippines (274,809), Philippine Airlines (175,399) and Cebgo (92,059).

Total international passengers nosedived to 957,573 versus 5.3 million passengers last year.

The largest domestic carrier in terms of international flights was Philippine Airlines, which transported 320,284 international passengers , followed by Cebu Pacific (57,136), Air Asia Philippines (4,792) and Royal Air Charter Service (3,711).

Foreign carriers, on the other hand, carried a total of 566,613 international passengers during the period.

Meanwhile, the total amount of cargo carried was 58.62 million kilograms. Of the total, Cebu Pacific carried 28.3 million kg., PAL (18.19 million kg), PAL Express (16.8 million kg), AirAsia Philippines (4.05 million kg), Astro Air International (5.9 million kg), Alphaland Aviation (3.42 million kg) and SEAIR-Inc (1.51 million kg).

“This crisis is longer and deeper than anyone could have expected. Losses will be reduced from 2020, but the pain of the crisis increases. There is optimism in domestic markets where aviation’s hallmark resilience is demonstrated by rebounds in markets without internal travel restrictions,” said Willie Walsh, director general at IATA.

“Government imposed travel restrictions, however, continue to dampen the strong underlying demand for international travel. Despite an estimated 2.4 billion people travelling by air in 2021, airlines will burn through a further $81 billion of cash,” he aded.

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