Due to its ideal central location, Cebu is climbing up the preferred destinations ladder fast. Proof to this is the oncoming addition of two new Chinese airlines flying from Shanghai Pudong International Airport to Cebu this October, the developer, GMR Megawide Cebu Airport Corporation (GMCAC) disclosed.
China Eastern Airlines will have a 7-flights-a-week test run this 18-28 Oct 2017. It’s full operation, however, will resume on 18 Jan 2018. Juneyao Airlines, on the other hand, will fly regularly from China to Cebu and vice versa starting 30 Oct 2017.
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According to GMCAC President Louie Ferrer, promoting Cebu to other Asian countries, especially China, is currently the company’s top-most priority. This move was powered by the fact that China – as found out in one study – is the highest-spending tourist market in the world today.
Ferrer also added that Cebu is a mix of tropical destination and modern luxuries worthy of promoting not only in China but Australia and many Southeast Asian countries as well. The company is also planning to open up new flights to North Asia, the Middle East, North America, and Europe, as well as more domestic flights within this year.
In the meantime, Okay Airways – another Mactan-Cebu International Airport (MCIA) Chinese airline partner – will fly from Cebu to Xi’an, China, three times a week starting 30 Oct 2017. On the side note, the next two months will also see the opening of two new routes to Beijing, China, and Bangkok, Thailand.
In other words, MCIA will already be serving 18 international destinations plus 35 domestic destinations by end of October.
In 2014, MCIA was only serving seven international and 23 domestic destinations when GMCAC took over operations of the airport.
Since then, the airport has been making waves to the international airport community. Backing up this claim is the airport’s current ranking which advanced from 14th place in 2016 to 13th place this 2017. This result came from a survey conducted by The Guide to Sleeping in Airports, ranking the best airports in Asia and around the world. According to Ferrer, the upward movement of the airport’s reputation is a good indicator that the airport is currently in good hands.
Last September 2017, MCIA spearheaded by GMCAC welcomed guests from the Global Airports Development (GAD) Asia Conference, the first of its kind to be held in the country. Key players in international airport finance and development attended the event.
In 2016, MCIA received the Best Regional Airport in Asia Pacific award given by the CAPA Center for Aviation. The latest among the airport’s accolades, however, came early this year in the form of special Commendation for Excellence in Airline Marketing from Routes Asia.
The year 2018 will again become another exciting year for both MCIA and its clients as the airport is expecting the opening of the new Terminal 2 around June.
Aside from the ongoing Terminal 2 expansion, MCIA also did some Terminal 1 facility upgrades, which include: premium lounge at the international departure area, a hundred new Flight Information Display monitors, additional ATMs, mobile charging stations, water refilling stations inside the boarding gates, in-terminal fun activities, and Cebu Connect Transfer Facility Desk – an early check-in facility for passengers with connecting flights.
In addition, the GMCAC president said that the airport will continue to grow along with the tourism industry in the region. The company, in full cooperation with its partners that include the DOTr, MCIAA, airline companies, the travel and tourism industry, and the whole Cebuano community, is working non-stop in making MCIA a world-class gateway not only for Cebu province but for Central Visayas in general.
Information extracted from press release issued by GMR Megawide Cebu Airport Corporation