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Routes 2023 Award: MCIA is Asia’s Best Airport

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Mactan Cebu International Airport garnered another design award in 2023.

CEBU, Philippines – The Mactan-Cebu International Airport was hailed Asia’s best under the “5 Million-Passenger Category” during the Routes Asia Award.

MCIA and GMR-Megawide Cebu Airport Corporation (GMCAC) representatives received the award during the awarding ceremony held in Chiang Mai, Thailand, on February 15, 2023. 

In this category, MCIA humbled more than 200 airports in the Asia Pacific region.

In a press release, The Routes commended MCIA for its prolonged approach to route development, namely, “airline marketing to create supply and destination marketing to ensure the sustainability of its airline partners’ presence and address the demand for air services.”

The Routes Asia 2023 award is highly regarded for MCIA’s remarkable efforts in its marketing services, innovation in the route development community, and recovery strategies for 2023.

The MCIA Authority General Manager and Chief Executive Officer, Julius Neri Jr., attributed this triumph to the public-private partnership between MCIA and the airport operator, GMR-Megawide Cebu Corporation (GMCAC). 

He also  acknowledged the support from both local and national governments in running the main gateway in Central Visayas.

“The airport got astounding support from the Department of Tourism and the Department of Transportation. We should thank (Secretaries) Christina Garcia Frasco and Jaime Bautista, for their support has made us move forward from the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic and Typhoon Odette,” Neri stated.

The addition of the new airline partners and new destinations in 2022 greatly impacted the pre-pandemic passenger traffic in Cebu – topping more than 80% of its pre-pandemic levels.

GMCAC director Rafael Aboitiz, in a separate statement, said, “This recognition attests to our strong commitment to resume our pre-pandemic connectivity while we carry out our strategies in both airline and destination marketing.”

Aside from Mactan International Airport, the Department of Tourism was also recognized as the winner of the Destination category.

In a separate press release, the Routes lauded the DOT for its constant efforts to partner with airports and airlines in reinstating discontinued routes and securing new air service. 

“It has done this through marketing efforts locally and globally, regional travel exchanges and business-to-business meetings, joint campaigns, international roadshadows, and familiarization tours for agents and media,” it added.

In addition to the bags of awards, MCIA’s Terminal 2 also won the World Architecture Festival in the Completed Buildings in Transport Category.

The interior of the Mactan-Cebu airport was conceptualized by world-class designer Kenneth Cobonpue.

Mactan-Cebu International Airport Improvement

The recognition of Mactan’s International Airport is an improvement from last year’s report. According to the data collected by the travel blog Hawaiian Islands, Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) was listed among the “most stressful” airports in Asia and Oceania. Reviews for the airport indicate stress has reached 57.81%. It’s also ranked behind Sydney Airport in Australia and Tan Son Nhat International Airport in Vietnam. 

Routes Award Overall Winner

The Routes Award overall winner was Singapore Changi Airport, which was able to increase its passenger traffic to 32.3 million in 2022. Routes pointed out that this is a huge increase from the 3.1 million passenger movements it had in 2021. It has greatly recovered 47% of its passenger traffic compared to 2019 and has established itself as the seventh busiest international airport in the world. 

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