THE Mactan-Cebu International Airport (MCIA) recorded a 134 percent increase in passenger traffic in the first four months of in 2022, owing to the recovery in air travel.

Latest data from state-run MCIA Authority, the country’s second busiest airport had accommodated a total of 656,130 domestic and international passengers from January to April this year.

This was a huge increase from 280,759 total passengers it recorded in the same period last year.

During the four-month period, MCIA posted a 139 percent increase in domestic passenger traffic to 595,037 and 89 percent rise in international passenger traffic to 61,093.

Aircraft traffic also saw a 140 percent surge to 11,227 from January to April, from 4,670 in the same period last year. This was led by domestic traffic, which rose 148 percent.

Earlier, Megawide Construction Corp., the Filipino operator of MCIA together with India’s GMR Group, said it was already seeing initial signs of recovery in its airport asset.

The International Air Transport Association predicts that global air travel will be 80-90 percent of its pre-pandemic levels this year and next, with prospects of exceeding 2019 figures by 2024.

“That being said, this revenge travel should present a huge upside to MCIA, which currently operates at 20-30 percent of pre-Covid levels,” noted Louie Ferrer, president of GMR-Megawide Cebu Airport Corp.

In anticipation of the global tourism revival, MCIA has partnered with Emirates and Turkish Airlines to gain access to Europe and Middle East. Both airlines are expected to augment the predominantly Asian tourist market in Cebu as the former flies daily while the latter follows a thrice-a-week schedule.