GMR-Megawide Cebu Airport Inc. (GMCAC) sees the increase in flight frequencies to Japan from Cebu as a boost in making the Japanese market the next big tourism opportunity for central and southern Philippines.
“Japan is an important market for Cebu and the rest of the country. The entry of new flights to Cebu makes us more attractive as a destination especially for Japanese tourists who are fascinated of Cebu’s unique blend as a business and leisure destination,” said GMCAC Chief Executive Adviser Andrew Harrison.
GMCAC is the private company managing the terminal operations and other related areas of the Mactan-Cebu International Airport.
MCIA connects to three Japan destinations
The thrice-weekly Nagoya flights and the daily Osaka flights are served by Philippine Airlines. Meanwhile, the 25-times weekly Narita flights are served by PAL, Cebu Pacific and Japanese low cost carrier Vanilla Air.
Vanilla Air Inc., wholly owned by ANA Holdings Inc., launched last December 25, 2016 its daily direct flights from Narita to Cebu, making it the fifth international destination in the airline’s route network. It is the first Japanese airline to fly direct from Narita to Cebu.
Vanilla Air currently operates from Tokyo (Narita) to Taipei, Kaohsiung, Hong Kong and Ho Chi Minh City apart from the domestic destinations: Sapporo, Hakodate, Osaka, Amami-Oshima and Okinawa.
Likewise, Japan is notably becoming a favorite travel destination among Filipinos. The country is home to 19 World Heritage Sites and popular tourist attractions like Tokyo, Hiroshima, Mount Fuji and several ski resorts.
Meanwhile, Harrison noted that as the opening of a new airport terminal draws closer to June 2018, GMCAC is focused on developing more international connectivity, which he voiced with optimism will spur tourism and business opportunities in Cebu and the rest of the country.
The Mactan-Cebu International Airport is currently serving a total of 14 international destinations, 26 domestic destinations with 19 partner airline carriers.
MCIA’s Terminal 2, where construction is in full capacity, will boost the airport’s passenger carrying capacity to 15 million passengers a year from the current 4.5 million passengers.
GMR-MEGAWIDE Cebu Airport Corporation (GMCAC) is a Filipino-led consortium managing the terminal operations and other related areas of the Mactan-Cebu International Airport. Under the Public-Private partnership framework, the GMR Group of India and the MEGAWIDE Construction Corporation joint venture, shall deliver a second terminal and rehabilitate the existing one to reduce congestion as well as meet the growing passenger traffic.
By RICHARD RAMOS