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Monday, December 11, 2023

Undas break sees passenger, planes flow at Naia smooth

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AIRCRAFT and passenger flows at the start of the long All Saints/All Souls Days (Undas) break appear to be normal with no untoward incidents reported so far.

In a Viber message on Monday, Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) Officer-in-Charge Bryan Co told the BusinessMirror there were 381,041 passengers who went through the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (Naia) passenger terminals from October 27 to October 29. Also, 2,341 flights were operated during the same period, with an average on-time performance of 82 percent. Only two flights were reported canceled during the period, PAL Express 2P2932/2933 (Manila-Basco-Manila), due to “unfavorable weather condition” on Sunday. “Everything is going as planned,” said Co.

This developed as United Airlines’ (UAL) first, non-stop flight between San Francisco and Manila (UA191) arrived at 5:20 am on Monday at Naia passenger terminal 3, carrying 325 passengers.

On her X (formerly Twitter) account, US Ambassador to Manila MaryKay L. Carlson described the flight’s arrival as a “momentous event in transpacific travel…accelerating opportunities as #PartnersInProsperity and strengthening connections between #FriendsPartnersAllies.” The inaugural flight failed to merit a mention on UAL’s own X account.

 310K Pinoys in SFO

According to Pew Research, as of 2019, there were 310,000 Filipinos living in San Francisco, coming in second after Los Angeles, with 506,000. There are also 109,000 Filipinos residing in nearby San Jose, who may want to travel to the SFO international airport for the direct flight to Manila. According to UAL’s web site,  a roundtrip economy nonstop flight between San Francisco and Manila (non-changeable) costs at least $1,270 per person (November).

UAL is using a Boeing 777-300ER, its largest aircraft, for its daily nonstop flights between San Francisco and Manila. It is the only US carrier that currently flies direct between any state and any Philippine airport. Only Filipino carrier Philippine Airlines flies between San Francisco and Manila, using a Boeing 777-300, with economy flights starting at P1,567 per person (November). PAL also operates a direct flight between Manila and Los Angeles.

‘Manageable’ hike in  departing pax

In a separate news statement, the MIAA said on Saturday, “Passenger movement in all Naia terminals is efficient at the moment.

While we have seen a significant increase in departing passengers, the overall situation is manageable. Meanwhile, there have been no untoward incidents reported by the Airport Police Department, who are mostly on foot patrol.”

The MIAA has designated “Oplan Byaheng Ayos Help Desks” at the passenger terminals, that  are “fully staffed to assist passengers with immediate concerns.”

In his press conference last Thursday, Co said MIAA has projected an average of 120,000 to 130,000 passengers a day flying through Naia for the 10-day break from October 27 to November 6. Filipinos are expected to go home to their provinces for the long break to visit their dead, and possibly vote in their Barangay and Sanggunian Kabataan Elections (October 30). The BSKE on Monday, All Saints Day (November 1) and All Souls Day (November 2) have been declared as special non-working holidays. 

Filipinos are traveling out-of-town and abroad to take advantage of the Undas break. (See, “Regular passenger traffic seen at Naia for long ‘Undas’ break,” in the BusinessMirror, October 27, 2023.)

Image credits: Ambassador Carlson’s X account

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