GMR Megawide Cebu Airport Corp. (GMCAC), the company that operates the Mactan-Cebu International Airport, is now targeting at least 10 million passenger arrivals for 2017. This goal amounts to a 12 percent increase in international and domestic arrivals from 2016. Cebu is now being promoted as the southern gateway into the Philippines. 

Mactan Airport

In recent years, Cebu has experienced a continuous surge in arrivals. "2016 grew 11.5% from the previous year, with 2015 passenger arrivals registering a total of 7.98 million with 5.91 million domestic passengers and 2.07 international passengers," BusinessWorld Online reported GMCAC as saying in a statement. 

The goal now is to bring that number further up to 10 million by the end of 2017. This will be done by welcoming more carriers into Cebu and by diversifying the routes further. "By pursuing new and diverse routes and increasing travel and tourism to the Visayas-Mindanao regions, we are ensuring long-term sustainability and economic and social benefits for the passengers and the businesses," Manila Standard reported GMCAC president Louie Ferrer as saying. 

More flights were just added from Cebu

In fact, the Mactan-Cebu International Airport has just added new international destinations in 2016. These include flights to Los Angeles via Philippine Airlines (PAL), Dubai via Emirates, Chengdu via China Eastern Airlines and PAL, Wuhan via China Eastern Airlines, Xiamen via Xiamen Air, Hangzhou via Air Asia and Daegu by T'way Air. 

At the same time, a number of carriers have also added new flights to its existing Cebu routes. Air Asia has decided to add more flights to its Cebu-Kuala Lumpur, Cebu-Singapore and Cebu-Taipei routes while PAL also added more flights to its Cebu-Caticlan and Cebu-Singapore routes. Meanwhile, new flights were also added for the Cebu-Taipei route by Eva Air, Cebu-Busan route by Air Busan and Cebu-Narita route by Vanilla Air. 

Mactan Airport Terminal 2 will increase capacity to 12.5 million passengers

Meanwhile, to further support passenger arrival growth in the airport, Ferrer has said the company is working to give it a much-needed upgrade. "We need proper infrastructure so that we can accommodate more airlines and more flights. Route development is essential to an airport; the more flights we have, the more passengers will pass through our gate," Ferrer explained. 

Currently, the construction of the airport's Terminal 2 is underway. Projected to be completed by June 2018, the new terminal is expected to bring up Mactan-Cebu International Airport's total capacity to 12.5 million passengers. Currently, the existing terminal is only designed to handle 4.5 million passengers. 

GMCAC is a joint venture corporation between Megawide Construction Corp (PSE: MWIDE) and Bangalore airport operator GMR Infrastructure Ltd. The company took full operational control of the Mactan-Cebu International Airport in November of 2014 after being declared the highest bidder for the project with a bid premium of P14.4 billion.  The airport is now said to be the second busiest gateway in the Philippines. 

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