Car­ri­ers add 21 new routes in Phl

The Philippine Star - - BUSINESS -

About 21 routes have been added to the port­fo­lio of in­ter­na­tional flights to and from the Philip­pines this year as more air­lines saw the po­ten­tial of sec­ondary gate­ways as vi­able points of en­tries for trav­el­ers.

Data from the Depart­ment of Tourism showed eight new routes were opened by foreign car­ri­ers while 13 were launched by do­mes­tic air­lines.

Th­ese new routes added an es­ti­mated to­tal of 888,056 reg­u­lar air seats to the Philip­pines in 2016.

Among the foreign car­ri­ers which mounted more flights to the Philip­pines were Xi­a­men Air­lines with the Xi­a­men-Cebu route, Emi­rates Air­lines (Dubai-Cebu-Clark). Eva Air (Taipei-Cebu), V Air ( Taipei- Manila) and China Eastern Air­lines (Chengdu-Manila and Chengdu-Cebu).

Silk Air also in­creased the fre­quency of its Sin­ga­pore- Davao trips from seven flights a day to 10 times a day.

Na­tional flag car­rier Philip­pine Air­lines, mean­while, added six new routes this year, ac­cord­ing to DOT data. Th­ese in­cluded Manila-Kuwait, Manila-Jed­dah, Cebu-Los Angeles, Manila-Doha, Manila-Saipan, Manila-Chengdu and Cebu-Sin­ga­pore.

Cebu Pa­cific also an­nounced the launch of Manila- Guam, Manila- Honolulu and Manila-Mel­bourne flights this year.

Three ad­di­tional routes were in­tro­duced by Air Asia, namely, Manila- Taipei, Cebu- Sin­ga­pore and Cebu-Taipei.

Tourism Un­der­sec­re­tary for De­vel­op­ment Plan­ning Ben­ito Beng­zon said sec­ondary gate­ways have been re­ceiv­ing an in­creas­ingly larger share of pas­sen­gers in re­cent months.

“This is part of our thrust to dis­perse tourism ac­tiv­i­ties,” Beng­zon said.

Beng­zon said this would also mean the in­fra­struc­ture agen­cies would have to step up the de­vel­op­ment of air­ports.

More char­ter op­er­a­tors are also sig­ni­fy­ing in­ter­est to fly di­rectly to the Philip­pines.

DOT route de­vel­op­ment team head Er­win Balane said char­ter op­er­a­tors from China were eye­ing to fly di­rectly to Cebu, Bo­hol and Du­maguete.

He also dis­closed that some Euro­pean car­ri­ers have also ex­pressed their in­ter­est to fly to the Philip­pines after the team’s par­tic­i­pa­tion in the re­cent World Route De­vel­op­ment Fo­rum in China.

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