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Mactan Airport seen to sustain growth

In this photo taken in February 2019, portions of the Mactan Cebu International Airport Terminal 1 are boarded up for the renovations. (Ventures Cebu Photo)

Engineering and infrastructure developer Megawide Construction Corporation said it expects its airport business to sustain its growth momentum this year given the rising passenger traffic volume and the projected increase in commercial spaces.

Megawide holds 60% equity in GMR Megawide Cebu Airport Corporation, its joint venture with India’s GMR Infrastructure which operates the Mactan Cebu International Airport (MCIA) terminal.

“We see the airport business sustaining its momentum, driven largely by passenger growth and increased commercial spaces with the completion of Terminal 1’s renovation this year,” company chairman and CEO Edgar Saavedra said in a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange Tuesday, July 2, 2019.

Airport operations, which comprise a fifth or 20% of Megawide’s consolidated revenues, contributed P3 billion in revenues in 2018, a 30% growth.

In the first quarter of 2019, airport operations generated P892 million, up 9% from the fourth quarter of 2018 and an increase of 38% compared to the same period in 2018.

Renovation of Terminal 1, which is ongoing, will provide an additional 2,200 square meters of retail space by the end of 2019.

“This will complement the existing 3,800 sq. m. of retail space located in Terminal 2 and boost non-aero related revenues of the airport business,” the company said.

Passenger traffic is expected to increase further with the opening of more international routes and an increase in frequency of existing flights.

Among the new airlines that started operations at the MCIA this year are China Southern Airlines (Cebu-Guangzhou) and Juneyao Airlines.

Passenger traffic at the MCIA reached 11.37 million in 2018, an increase of about 18% from 9.59 million in 2017 and just a little over a million shy of the airport’s new capacity of 12.5 million.

As of April 2019, a total of 4.1 million domestic and international passengers passed through the airport.

Air traffic volume likewise increased by 15% with international traffic up by 19% and domestic traffic improving 14%.

MCIA Terminal 2 (T2), which started operations in July 2018, was one of two national transport infrastructure projects that Megawide completed and commissioned in 2018.

The other was the Parañaque Integrated Terminal Exchange (PITX), which started operations in November 2018.

GMR Megawide Cebu Airport Corporation seeks further expand the facility, construct an additional full-length taxiway and second parallel runway, and build a third passenger terminal building as government eyes to increase airport capacity to 35 million by 2025.

The MCIA upgrading project, which had an estimated cost of P17.5 billion, was the first airport public-private partnership project in the country.

Megawide shares closed at P19 apiece on July 2, 2019. (Ventures Cebu)

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