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Korean Flights Resume Operations at MCIA this July

Credit: Credits to GMCAC
Passenger Service Assistants at Cebu Airport welcome first arriving passengers of T'way from ICN

More Korean air carriers resumed their direct flights to Korea from the country’s friendliest airport, Mactan-Cebu International Airport (MCIA), this July after over two years of economic pinch due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“With the return of direct flights to Korea and other international flights, this gives positive signals to the recovery of the travel and aviation sector. Hopefully, this will also lead the further recovery of the tourism industry, especially with Cebu being chosen recently as one of the Best Islands in the World in the by Travel + Leisure,” said Louie Ferrer, President of GMR MEGAWIDE Cebu Airport Corporation (GMCAC). 

Daily flights to Incheon are serviced by Korean Air, Jin Air, T’way and Jeju Air, while flights to Busan also resume service by Jin Air and Air Busan. 

Local carrier Cebu Pacific Air also started flights from Cebu to Incheon. South Korea is the first international destination that the airline is restarting from its Cebu hub. 

Other international destinations also added with Singapore Airlines, Scoot and Cebu Pacific serving Singapore, Cathay Pacific resumed its Hong Kong flights while T’Way also resumed its Daegu flights. EVA Air also revived their passenger service to Taipei. 

Tourism stakeholders in Cebu, on the other hand, are optimistic for their recovery this year as the Philippines welcomed back fully vaccinated foreign travelers in February. 

Domestic routes get a boost 

Meanwhile, local carriers also increased their flight frequencies following the continuous ramp-up of their domestic routes capacity. 

Philippine Airlines is serving daily flights to Manila, Davao, Cagayan de Oro, Caticlan, Iloilo, Tacloban, Siargao while Cebu Pacific services daily flights to Manila, Camiguin, Davao, Dumaguete, Busuanga, and Butuan. Flights to Cagayan de Oro, Bacolod, Clark, General Santos, Caticlan, Iloilo, Ozamis, Puerto Princesa, Tacloban, Siargao, and Zamboanga also increased. AirAsia, on the other hand, added four daily flights to Manila and flights to Caticlan. 

To date, the number of domestic traffic at the MCIA already returned to 70 percent of its pre-pandemic level, while the international traffic ramping up since May is expected to achieve its pre-pandemic levels by end of Q2 2023.