SOME 2.27 million domestic and international passengers went through Francisco Bangoy International Airport (Davao Airport) in the first half of the year.

In the data obtained from Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) – Davao, the airport catered to 1,073,197 inbound domestic passengers and 1,110,456 outbound domestic passengers from January to June 2019 for airlines like Philippine Airlines, PAL Express, Cebu Pacific Air, CEBGO, Air Asia, and Royal Air.

For international flights, 45,445 inbound international passengers and 46,635 outbound international passengers were recorded from Silk Air, Cebu Pacific Air, Air Asia, Cathay Dragon, Xiamen Airlines, and Qatar Airways.

There has been a constant upsurge in Davao City’s passenger volume since 2016 as it recorded 3.53 million passengers, 3.9 million in 2017, and 4.4 million in 2018.

CAAP-Davao manager Rex Obcena said in an interview with SunStar Davao that based on his observation, there is an increase of passenger volume during events held in the city like the Kadayawan festival celebration every August of the year.

“Sa historical data natin, naa ta’y increase of passenger volume ‘pag naay mga events sa city, mostly are domestic passengers. Also, ‘yung increase, that would imply na yung airport operation natin is doing very good (Based on our historical data, we have increase of passenger volume during events in the city, mostly are domestic passengers. Also, the increase would imply that our airport operation is doing very good),” he said.

“In terms of international flights, so far okay tayo, walang disruptions,” he added.

Most of the domestic passengers availed flights in Cebu Pacific Air while majority of the international passengers were with Cathay Dragon.

Meanwhile, domestic cargo volume going in and out of the Davao Airport reached 28.58 million kilograms (kg) and more than 58,000 kg for international cargo volume.

The business industry, tourism sector, local government, and the Davao City Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Inc. (DCCCII) have been pushing for more international air routes from the city to increase its trade and tourism.

The sectors also reiterated the need for the improvement of the Davao Airport despite the recent pronouncement of President Rodrigo Duterte that the city will be last in terms of upgrading during his State of the Nation Address 2019.