November 19, 2019
GMR MEGAWIDE Cebu Airport Corporation (GMCAC), in partnership with the airport authority, Mactan Cebu International Airport Authority (MCIAA), is proud to announce and welcome the inaugural flight of Air Busan from Incheon International Airport on November 13, 2019. The flight arrived at 03:10 p.m. with a total of 194 passengers. The aircraft was hailed with a water cannon salute.
Air Busan also started the operation of its direct service from MCIA to Incheon on the same day at 04:40 pm. The carrier will operate the Cebu-Incheon route daily using Airbus 321-200 with a 195-passenger capacity and Mono class service.
“Air Busan has been a strong airline partner of MCIA through the years and we are glad to welcome their newest service to Incheon. Korea remains the top international market in Cebu, and we proudly partner with Air Busan, one of the top carriers in Korea, in sustaining the growth that we achieved over the past years,” spoke Louie Ferrer, GMCAC President.
Ferrer credits the partnership with the MCIAA in stimulating the growth of the airport these past few years. “Through the strong support of the MCIAA, we are able to provide a robust and compelling business case to airlines such as Air Busan that fuels passenger and airline growth at MCIA which greatly benefits tourists and travelling Filipinos,” he stated.
Currently, Air Busan offers 6 domestic routes and 32 international routes (including Incheon – Cebu). The airline also has plans to continuously expand their route to Japan, China, Southeast Asia, Northeast Asia and, in Guam.
“Air Busan has been in service for the past nine years in Cebu with only Busan-Cebu-Busan as its destination. As part of the company’s growth, we are eyeing to expand business opportunities by opening various schedules to customers, and one of them is by providing an additional service to Cebu at the Incheon Airport, which is known to be the largest airport in Korea. Being the major gateway of travel in Korea, the influx of travelers will surely make a good business output,” said Suzette Mae Agonia-Tacocong, Air Busan Cebu Branch Manager.
With this new route, Air Busan is excited to offer this service to Filipino and foreign travelers. “We are excited to offer this service because it’s a daily noontime flight hence, travelers can get a good connecting time from Cebu to other destinations in the world,” according to Tacocong.
Increasing passenger volume
MCIA closed the third quarter of this year with a total of 9.5 million passengers comprised of 6.3 million domestic passengers and 3.2 million international passengers. GMCAC is on track to meet its 12.8 million-passenger target this year. For the full year of 2018, MCIA brought in a total of 11.5 million passengers compared to just 6.9 million in 2014.
“For these first five years, we have seen strong, positive growth at MCIA, most notably in connectivity and passenger traffic and we were able achieve this through the strong support of our partners and stakeholders. Together with the MCIAA, the Cebuano community, and our partners, we will continue to transform the MCIA into a main hub in Southeast Asia,” said GMCAC President Louie Ferrer. He also said that the new challenge for GMCAC growing outbound traffic to destinations like Korea. “Our inbound traffic from Korea remains strong, but we are also exploring ways to help increase Filipino traffic going to Korea. We want to promote tourism to these countries as well,” he stated.
Currently, MCIA is connected to 23 international destinations from only 7 at handover in 2014; and 28 domestic destinations from 23 in 2014. The airport also has a total of 26 partner carriers – nine Philippine-based and 17 foreign airline partners – from just 11 in 2014.