MIAA sees busier 2023 as pre-pandemic flights, passenger volume recover

The Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) is hoping for a busier 2023 in terms of passenger volumes in all major airports across the country.

This, after the MIAA recorded a total of 22,815 flights involving over 3.7 million passengers In January this year, which it said, is an indication of heading back to the pre-pandemic volume of flights and passengers.

In January 2019, the MIAA recorded 22,165 flights and 4,058,236 passengers.

“MIAA hopes to sustain this momentum as more nations open their borders, more restrictions are lifted, and more people rediscover their renewed love of travel,” said MIAA General Manager Cesar Chiong.

He said that with NAIA recovering 65 percent of its pre-pandemic passenger volume and 82 percent of its pre-pandemic flight movements, MIAA foresees a busier 2023.

“MIAA remains optimistic that 2023 would be a busier year for NAIA. International and domestic advance bookings for 2023 have grown rapidly, according to airlines,” he added. 

Citing their data, Chiong said they recorded 30.9 million passengers at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport for the entire 2022 despite a slow start early last year.

“This was increase of more than 300 percent from the 7.67 million passengers it had in 2021. More than twice as many planes have taken off and landed since 2021, jumping from 104,000 to 221,000,” said Chiong. 

“2022 ended on a strong note, with NAIA posting its highest monthly passenger volume—

1,485,968 in December 2022—since the start of the pandemic. The airport has returned to serving 65% of its pre-pandemic passenger load and 82% of its pre-pandemic flight movements,” he added.

He attributed the significant increase to people’s renewed confidence to travel although he admitted that the figure is still below the agency’s 2019 recorded volume of 47.69 million passengers.

“We have high hopes and expectations for 2023 because of the increasing trend not only in the Philippines but in other countries as well. We believe that what we are experiencing is people’s reawakened desire to travel,” Chiong said.