China Airlines opens new Taipei-Cebu direct route

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 02 2022 09:42 AM

A water cannon salute welcomes the inaugural China Airlines Taipei-Cebu flight as it arrived at the Mactan-Cebu International Airport on Dec. 1, 2022. Annie Perez
A water cannon salute welcomes the inaugural China Airlines Taipei-Cebu flight as it arrived at the Mactan-Cebu International Airport on Dec. 1, 2022. Annie Perez

CEBU —The Mactan-Cebu International Airport (MCIA) continues to open more direct flights to international destinations as a way to recover from the economic losses brought by the COVID-19 pandemic.

A new direct route was launched at MCIA Thursday, as the inaugural flight of Taiwan's flagship carrier China Airlines arrived here from Taipei.

The flight carried 120 passengers, mostly tourists and returning overseas Filipino workers (OFWs).

According to MCIA General Manager Julius Neri, the new direct flight will help boost economy and the tourism industry especially that the airport's passenger and airline volumes have not yet returned to pre-pandemic levels.

“It will bring in more traffic, more tourists. This is a new airline, not a returning flight from pre-pandemic so we can say that Cebu has been effectively marketed,” said Neri.

He noted that for the end of the last quarter of 2022, international arrivals at MCIA was at 40 percent, equivalent to about 1 million passengers.

“It’s a far cry from complete recovery [but] hopefully with new direct flights, we can recover faster,” added Neri.

He said MCIA is looking into full recovery by end of 2023.

“We continue to market Cebu and invite airlines to directly fly with us."

A new direct flight from Cebu to Bangkok is also expected to open in the coming weeks.

Meanwhile, Neri said that domestic flights at the MCIA are hitting pre-pandemic levels with several airlines resuming its routes to different destinations.

—Report from Annie Perez

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