By Ma. Cristina Arayata
BACK IN OPERATION. Domestic passengers flock to the NAIA Terminal 4 on Monday (March 28, 2022) on the first day of its reopening after almost two years due to the pandemic. There are 106 flights scheduled to depart and arrive at Terminal 4. (Photo courtesy of Manila International Airport Authority)
MANILA – At least 106 flights are scheduled to depart and arrive at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 4 on Monday as it officially reopened almost two years since its closure due to the pandemic.
Carriers CebGo, AirAsia Philippines, AirSWIFT are now back to mounting domestic flights at Terminal 4.
The Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) has used Terminal 3 for domestic operations since June 2020 to reduce the operations cost, as there were many flight cancellations and restrictions amid the Covid-19 pandemic. Flights of Philippine Airlines, however, remained at Terminal 2.
Since last year, Terminal 4 has been used as a vaccination site for MIAA employees, as well as other personnel at the airport.
Data from MIAA showed that Terminal 4 had a total of 21,535 arriving domestic flights in 2019, logging the lowest number (1,723) in February and highest (2,223) in December. During the first three months of 2020, Terminal 4 had 2,221 inbound domestic flights in January; 2,126 in February; and 1,044 in March.
Outbound domestic flights via Terminal 4 reached 21,592 in 2019. From January to March 2020, outbound flights in this terminal totaled 5,414
As for the number of domestic passengers, over 2.4 million passengers arrived at Terminal 4 in 2019, and 609,776 in the first three months of 2020. Outbound domestic passengers via Terminal 4 were over 2.4 million in 2019, and 582,962 in the first three months of 2020.
“The return of domestic operations to Terminal 4 is a strategic move in managing the expected influx of passengers at Terminal 3 in the coming months. This will optimize overall airline operations from check-in to boarding, helping airlines to significantly improve on-time performance,” AirAsia Philippines chief executive officer Ricky Isla said in a statement.
AirAsia, AirSWIFT and CebGo earlier advised passengers to check their itineraries and boarding passes before proceeding to their designated airport terminal. They also urged the passengers to arrive at the airport three hours before the scheduled domestic flight, to allow ample time for security inspection, check-in, bag drop, and avoid delays.
“We advise people to always do advance check-in or online check-in so they could go to the pre-departure area faster,” Isla said in an interview. (PNA)