Passengers arriving at NAIA down 10.4% due to coronavirus scare
The number of passengers who arrived at the country’s premier airport decreased by 10.44 percent compared to last year due to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) scare, according to the Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) Wednesday.
During Malacanang’s weekly economic briefing, MIAA General Manager Ed Monreal said around 300,000 passengers were reduced in Ninoy Aquino International Airport due to COVID-19.
“As per the impact, compared to last year we have tracked down since January 25 up to February 17, almost a little over 16 percent were reduced in international passengers…. Little over three percent for domestic passengers,” he said.
Based on their data, overall passenger statistics for 2020 were 2, 759, 568 compared to 3,081, 403 passengers last year during the same period.
For overall number, Monreal said 49 million passengers went through NAIA for 2019.
“There is a decrease of almost 50,000 for domestic and about 300, 000 for international,” Monreal said.
“For the flights, there is a 22 percent decrease in inbound and outbound since the travel ban on China flights,” he added.
Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) said 70 flights were removed due to COVID-19
Monreal said flights in NAIA are mostly foreign carriers as local carriers are facing a challenge on how they will quarantine crew members.
“Right now, mostly foreign carriers but they are flying in reduced capacity... for local carriers the challenge is and being studied by IATF is the quarantine for crews… it will take toll on their operation if it will not be resolved… by this week there might be a resolution,” he said.
Monreal said they are slowly recovering after the lifting of travel ban in Taiwan.
“Hopefully, I’m praying our tourism will recover soon… loss opportunity but there is still time to recover,” he said.
For those who are arriving from Macau and Hong Kong where travel ban was partially lifted, Monreal said the Inter-agency Task Force (IATF) on COVID-19 has yet to issue protocols.
“They are not yet telling us if those who came from China (Macau and Hong Kong) are already exempted on the 14-day quarantine (period) but those who are coming from Taiwan are already exempted,” Monreal said.
Monreal also said they are planning on placing scanners even in domestic terminals since the first positive case of COVID-19 were able to travel to some provinces in the country.
“We are now implementing and hoping also to be implemented in all domestic terminals… (to conduct) thermal scanning on passengers. The reason being is not to scare people but base on the incident that some (patients) were able to visit places in the provinces… we thought about it since we have extra equipment,” he said.
“We will implement it and (we are) hoping to be completed within this week,” he added.
Monreal also said they are now studying the proposal of local airlines for discounts and reduction of charges such as runway fees.
He said to promote local tourism, Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade ordered them to allow local airlines to use some slots for substitute flights. Ella Dionisio/DMS