MCIA launches seamless transfers in T1, T2

MCIA launches seamless transfers in T1, T2
CEBU CONNECT. Athanasios Titonis, MCIA’s chief executive officer, says Cebu Connect is a testament to our ongoing efforts to improve airport services and enhance passenger satisfaction. This new initiative cuts transfer time from 60 minutes to 35 minutes for domestic and from 90 minutes to 60 minutes for international connections. / CONTRIBUTED

THE private operator of Mactan-Cebu International Airport, Aboitiz InfraCapital GMCAC (AGMCAC) is reducing the transfer time for passengers with connecting flights through its new transfer service—Cebu Connect.

This new initiative is expected to boost tourism in the country by positioning Cebu as an ideal entry point for both domestic and international tourists.

Cebu Connect is designed to facilitate efficient and seamless airport transfers within MCIA, reducing layover time and maximizing comfort and convenience for travelers.

“With Cebu Connect, we are further enhancing vital airline connections. This initiative will reduce transfer times significantly – from 90 minutes to 60 minutes for international connections and from 60 minutes to 35 minutes for domestic ones – making travel more seamless and enjoyable for our fellow Filipinos and tourists,” said Cosette Canilao, president and chief executive officer of Aboitiz InfraCapital, at the Cebu Connect launching on Wednesday, June, 19, 2024.

Canilao said the initiative “will bolster the Philippine tourism’s multiplier effect - first come the tourists, then investors and then jobs - a ripple effect of development across the country.”

According to Athanasios Titonis, MCIA’s chief executive officer, the new system for domestic to domestic transfers started Wednesday while the domestic to international transfers will be implemented in the coming months.

“This is a testament to our ongoing efforts to improve airport services and enhance passenger satisfaction,” Titonis said. “This is part of MCIA’s commitment to meeting global standards in airport operations.”

Passengers with connecting flights will no longer need to pick-up their baggage from the baggage claim but instead head to a designated gate where necessary security clearances will be done, allowing them to seamlessly proceed to their next flight.

AGMCAC collaborated with government counterparts, including the Mactan-Cebu International Airport Authority, Bureau of Customs, and Bureau of Immigration, to identify the necessary resources and systems to realize this vision.

With updated X-ray scanners, multiple counters, and a team of well-trained security and airport staff, passengers can expect safe and expedited transfers between Terminal 1 and Terminal 2.

“Travel has become more challenging today than it was years ago. To ease the journey for passengers, we decided to simplify transfers, especially for frequent flyers, families with small children, persons with disabilities, and individuals on medical or business trips where time is crucial,” added Titonis.

Airline operators

Airline operators lauded AGMCAC’s initiative.

AirAsia chief executive officer Ricky Isla said the new service is “a win not only for the Philippines, but also for Asean.”

“We commend AGMCAC’s initiative for simplifying airport transfers. This delivers a great boost for millions of guests gaining access to a wider network of destinations while making travel to numerous connecting destinations more seamless and convenient. Integrating Cebu Connect into AirAsia Philippines’ offerings will elevate the quality of our services,” Isla said.

Apart from accessible transfers between AirAsia Philippines flights and those of partner airlines, Isla noted that with Cebu Connect, millions of guests will now have access to a wider network of destinations.

“Given the opportunity, we would like to offer new destinations such as Bangkok, Vietnam, Phnom Penh, and additional cities in North Asia. These potential routes will provide more travel options and strengthen Cebu’s position as a key international transfer hub in the region”, he added.

“Clearly, the benefit of this is that this will give passengers the amount of choice that they will have and how seamless it will be for them to connect. This is a great initiative by the airport… We are looking forward to building more connectivity and connections with MCIA,” said Cebu Pacific president Xander Lao.

“About 92 percent of the traffic we carry in Cebu is actually connecting passengers and with this Cebu Connect we expect to be able to increase that further,” said Rabbi Ang, president of PAL Express.

About 10 airlines are operating at MCIA, of which five are local airlines and 15 are foreign airlines. MCIA is connected to 40 destinations as of April. / KOC

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