By Dhel Nazario
As Metro Manila will be under General Community Quaratine (GCQ) on June 1, the Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) made sure that it is prepared for the expected resumption of domestic flights .
According to MIAA General Manager Ed Monreal, domestic carriers have already expressed their intention to operate beginning June 1. WIth this, the MIAA will be determining the terminal usage depending on the number of flights that will be mounted. Only flights duly approved by the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) will be considered for slotting.
Monreal has ordered all Terminal Managers to prepare for the expected resumption of domestic flights which will operate between GCQ to GCQ areas only following the recommendation of Department of Transportation (DOTr) Secretary Art Tugade to President Duterte.
He said that international operations shall continue subject to the 400 passengers a day cap imposed by the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) for inbound flights. For planning purposes however, the MIAA requested the airlines to submit their plans after May 31.
Already 21 airlines have submitted their flight plans out of 26 which are operating in Terminal 1. MIAA reminded though that most of these are just plans since travel restrictions still exist here and abroad.
To get domestic operations off the ground, the MIAA will be adopting three options.
Terminal 1 shall remain servicing international commercial flights while Terminal 2 shall remain servicing all repatriation and sweeper flights and commercial domestic flights of Philippine Airlines.
Terminal 3 on the hand shall be used by Cebu Pacific and Air Asia. Meanwhile, Terminal 4 shall remain closed.
“MIAA deemed it best to adopt these options so that it can maximize the use of the Terminals while striking a balance between ensuring efficient flight operations and being cost-effective,” Monreal stressed.
Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) records revealed that for the period March 16 to May 16, 2020, the airport registered a total passenger volume of 182,660 only as against 8,570,113 million for the same period in 2019.
“This dip in passenger volume is caused by prohibitions on travel imposed by countries all over the world that compelled airline companies to consequently suspend operations. Airlines that continue to operate to this day in NAIA do so on reduced capacity and frequency,” MIAA said,
MIAA is down by P1.8 billion in revenues against last year’s figure. Amidst the global economic destruction that COVID-19 has caused, GM Ed Monreal remains hopeful that new opportunities will come out of the current situation.