MANILA, Philippines - Domestic tourism in the Philippines is booming, as seen with the 9.6% increase in domestic passengers in 2012.
Based on data from the Civil Aeronautics Board, domestic passenger traffic hit 20.57 million last year, mainly due to the cheap fares offered by airlines.
Among the airlines, Cebu Pacific dominates with 46% share of the total domestic passenger traffic. The Gokongwei-led budget carrier, which is known for its "piso fares", posted an 11.8% increase in passengers to 9.48 million.
AirPhil Express, a unit of Philippine Airlines (PAL), had a 21.9% share in the domestic passenger traffic. The airline posted a 20% jump in passenger traffic to 4.5 million last year.
PAL cornered a 20% share of the total domestic traffic, but with a 4.9% drop in domestic passenger traffic to 4.1 million last year.
Zest Airways Inc. (Zest Air) had a 10% share with 2.06 million domestic passengers in 2012, slightly lower than 2.15 million in 2011.
Smaller airlines AirAsia Inc. and Southeast Asian Airlines (SEAIR) had 158,519 and 124,468 domestic passengers respectively.
However, the industry's passenger load factor fell to 73% from 77% in 2011. This as the airlines' total seats grew to 28.27 million from 24.34 million in 2011.