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29 November 2009
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Philippines: Cheap fares boost local air travel

The number of people who travelled by air within the country grew by nearly a third in the January to September period as promotional fares offered by local carriers encouraged more tourists to visit destinations around the archipelago, reported the Philippines Daily Inquirer.

According to government data, 11.1 million passengers took domestic flights as of the end of the third quarter. This is 29.5 percent higher than the 8.6 million passengers recorded in the same period last year.

“The growth was driven by the many promos and low fares offered by local airlines,” Civil Aeronautics Board executive director Carmelo Arcilla said in an interview. “I think that [cheap fares] are going to be the way forward. That’s very good for local tourism,” he said.

The data showed Gokongwei-owned budget airline Cebu Pacific carrying 5.35 million passengers during the period. This is 38.2 percent more than the number of passengers the airline carried during the same period last year.

Lucio Tan’s Philippine Airlines, meanwhile, ferried 4.64 passengers during the same period, representing a 35.5-percent increase year-on-year. Zest Airways had the third most number of passengers at 659,544 during the period. This was followed by Air Philippines, now operating as budget brand PAL Express, with 320,651 passengers.



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