Long-term Nanjing expat holiday destination, The Philippines, is becoming more and more popular with the Chinese, and as a result more airlines and different routes have opened to accommodate the flow of passengers.
Known for its pristine-white sandy beaches, crystal clear oceans, cheap food and accommodation, and not to mention smiling friendly locals, The Philippines, is made up of over 7,000 such islands.
One such island, Boracay, has long been a European holiday maker and backpackers sanctuary, however, due to its proximity to China and a growing affluence and interest in travel, tourism organisations are turning their attention to the Chinese. With Boracay maxed out to capacity, people are looking elsewhere to islands such as Bohol and Palawan.
Business World Online announced that in a statement released on 13 August by the GMR-Megawide Cebu Airport Corp. (GMCAC), four airlines “started adding direct flights from the Mactan-Cebu International Airport (MCIA) to China last month”.
Search results from flight search APPS Trip, (formerly known as Ctrip) and Skyscanner, reveals Philippine Airlines working in conjunction with airlines such as China Eastern, Sichuan Airlines, Air China, China Southern, Xiamen Airlines, Philippines AirAsia and budget airline Cebu Pacific to bring more flights to China.
“China Eastern started flying from Cebu to Chengdu on July 2 and to Nanjing on July 25, both operated thrice weekly. For its Shanghai trips, the airline is replacing its A320 aircraft with the wider A330 from July 1 to Sept. 1”, say Business World.
Example flight from Trip: 21 of August shows Xianmen Airlines Boeing 737-800 Flight MF801 leaving Cebu at 13:00, and transfer for 2 1/2 hrs in Fuzhou, before landing in Nanjing as MF8067 at 20:10; ￥2,040.
Philippine Airlines subsidiary, PAL Express, opened charter flights from Cebu to Hangzhou on 6 July, while the number of Cebu-Beijing flights is set to double by 1 September, according to Business World. Philippines AirAsia also opened a Cebu-Shanghai route on 7 July.
“We are mindful of the fact that our traffic growth in Cebu will be driven to a greater extent by our visitors from China. As such we have taken various initiatives to prepare for this growth” said GMR-Megawide Cebu Airport Corp. (GMCAC) President Manuel Louie B. Ferrer said in the statement.
GMCAC told Business Online, “With eight airlines currently serving 10 destinations in mainland China, it expects that the target 11.2 million passengers would be reached by year’s end”.