By Minerva Newman
CEBU CITY – About 300 delegates from the aviation and travel industry in the North Asia region gathered here for the Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation-Low Cost Carrier (CAPA-LCC) Summit 2019 Monday and Tuesday, the first time the Philippines hosted the event.
In his opening statement, CAPA Executive Chairman Peter Harbison said the organization’s summits are the only occasion for a true end to end knowledge and networking experience for the aviation and travel industry.
Harbison said the summits attract the highest caliber leaders and decision makers in the industry who want to gain access to latest industry data, insights and trends.
“This is the 8th CAPA-LCC Summit and 15 years ago LCCs were not even considered, but now, 15 percent of airline seats are from the low-cost carriers. This has transformed the way people are traveling now,” Harbison said.
The LCC market accounted for 32.8 percent of airline seats worldwide. Europe leads the way with 40.1 percent, with Latin America coming in second at 36.1 percent, and Asia Pacific 29.5 percent in 2018, Harbison noted.
The Philippines is a potential market for LCCs, holding 70 percent of domestic airlines seats. The international departing seats from the Philippines capacity to Northeast Asia accounts for 60 percent, Harbison said.
Visitor arrivals to the Philippines have tripled in the last 10 years, he said. In the first semester of 2019, LCCs accounted for 41.9 percent of seats, and full-service carriers (FSCs) 58.1 percent.
“As the LCCs phenomenon spread, FSCs have adopted various strategies to recapture its market share tapping “groups” into a whole new low-fare, price-sensitive markets in the aviation/travel industry,” Harbison said.
Department of Tourism (DOT) Undersecretary Benito Bengson said 50 percent of arrivals come from North Asia and
DOT’s objective is to reach 12 million foreign visitors by 2022.
Summits like CAPA’s offer huge potentials for air access growth, Bengson said.
“Let us forge new partnerships and strengthen current ones as we further enhance air connectivity to Asia and the Philippines,” noted Tourism Secretary Bernadette Puyat in a message delivered by Bengson.