Domestic air traffic up by 25 percent

The volume of domestic airline passengers rose 25 percent year-on-year in 2009, on the back of strong domestic tourism, according to the Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB).  Data shows that the number of domestic air passengers rose to 14.7 million from 11.8 million in 2008, as airlines increased the number available seats by a fourth to 18.96 million from 15.13 million.

CAB executive director Carmelo Arcilla attributed the increase in domestic passengers to more leisure travels by locals. "The increase is really due to the fact that we have stronger domestic tourism now, coupled with the promo fares of airlines and the rise of budget carriers," he was quoted as saying.

Philippine Airlines posted a 23 percent growth to 6 million domestic passengers last year from 4.9 million in 2008.  Budget carrier Cebu Pacific reported a 35 percent increase in domestic passengers to 7.2 million last year from 5.35 million in 2008.  Zest Airways, Inc. more than doubled its domestic passengers to 872,223 from 374,145.  

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