backarrow Korean Flights Resume Operations at MCIA

July 28, 2022

Cebu, Philippines – More Korean air carriers resumed their direct flights to Korea from the country’s friendliest gateway to the country’s tourism destinations, Mactan-Cebu International Airport (MCIA), after over two years of economic downturn due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The return of direct flights to Korea and other international flights is a positive signal for the recovery of the travel and aviation sector. Korea comprised our main international traffic pre-pandemic, followed by other ASEAN countries. We are very glad to welcome them back to Cebu and to assist the ongoing tourism build-up in the region,” said Louie Ferrer, President of GMR MEGAWIDE Cebu Airport Corporation (GMCAC).

Cebu was recently named as one of the Best Islands in the World by international magazine Travel + Leisure. Tourism stakeholders in Cebu have said they are optimistic for their recovery this year as the Philippines welcomed back fully vaccinated foreign travelers in February.

“As more air carriers resume flights direct to South Korea, it is a significant milestone for rebuilding the travel industry in the island of Cebu. We are pleased to welcome them back and we look forward to continuing our shared success.” said MCIAA General Manager and CEO Julius G. Neri, Jr.

Regular International Flights Return to MCIA

Daily flights to Incheon are operated by Korean Air, Jin Air, T’way and Jeju Air, whilst flights to Busan are operated by Jin Air and Air Busan.

Philippine 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 added were Singapore via Singapore Airlines, Scoot and Cebu Pacific; Hong Kong via Cathay Pacific; Daegu via T’Way. EVA Air has also revived their commercial flights to Taipei.

Domestic routes get a boost

As part of the continuous ramp up of domestic flights, Philippine Airlines is now operating daily flights to Manila, Davao, Cagayan de Oro, Caticlan, Iloilo, Tacloban, and Siargao. AirAsia, on the other hand, added four daily flights to Manila and flights to Caticlan.

Cebu Pacific also operates 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.

In comparison to 2019 pre-pandemic, the percentage of domestic flights at MCIA has already returned to 70 percent, while international traffic which has ramped up since May, is expected to achieve its pre-pandemic levels by end of Q2 2023.