NAIA airline assignments not yet final

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An airplane prepares to depart at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.

The Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) and the Department of Transportation (DOTr) today clarified that the reported new airline assignments at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) are not yet final.

“The Department of Transportation wishes to advise the public that reports circulating online and via traditional media on supposed new airline assignments at the NAIA are not yet final,” the DOTr said in a statement.

MIAA general manager Eddie Monreal said they were coordinating with the airlines but no final decision had been reached.

“New assignments have been discussed with the airlines, but no concrete decision has been made yet, in view of the many options available for consideration,” Monreal said.

The DOTr said it would make an announcement once the new assignments are decided.

“An announcement will be made once all options have been studied, bearing in mind comfort, convenience, and safety of our passengers,” the DOTr said.

MIAA media affairs chief Jess Martinez earlier said that the government will implement a rationalization plan of airport services to decongest terminals and improve passenger convenience.

He said that, by Aug. 31, only five airlines will be left serving Terminal 1 of NAIA—-Thai Airways, Saudia Airlines, Japan Airlines, Etihad Airlines and legacy carrier Philippine Airlines (PAL).

Based on this plan, the other foreign airlines operating in Terminal 1 will be transferred to Terminal 3. On the other hand, Terminal 2 will be used only by PAL and Cebu Pacific Air domestic flights operations. Terminal 4 will handle other domestic flights.

Terminal 1 was completed in 1981 to accommodate the Philippines’ international passenger traffic that began growing in the 1970s. The 16-gate facility, with 78 check-in counters and 24 immigration stations, was designed by Leandro Locsin, a National Artist of the Philippines for Architecture.

Terminal 2 began operations in 1999. Originally envisioned as a domestic hub, the facility now houses both the international and domestic operations of the country’s flag carrier, Philippine Airlines.

While improvements raised Terminal 1’s capacity to six million passengers, their number reached 7.7 million in 1997. Terminal 3 was the answer to this growing traffic.

NAIA Terminal 3 was meant to handle 13 million international passengers annually. It has a total of 20 boarding gates and 140 check-in counters and can accommodate 4,000 passengers during peak hours.

Terminal 3 officially opened to selected domestic flights in July 2008, with Cebu Pacific international flights using it beginning August 2008.

NAIA Terminal 4, known as the Manila Domestic Passenger Terminal, is the oldest of the four existing terminals. The facility hosts the operations of local carriers such as Air Swift, Cebgo, Philippine Air Asia and Skyjet.

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