Community Travel

MCIA recognized as a breastfeeding friendly airport

The Mactan-Cebu International Airport (MCIA) was recognized as a Breastfeeding Friendly Public Place by the Philippine Pediatric Society (PPS) during the 7th Breastfeeding Congress and the 1st Asia-Pacific Breastfeeding Conference in EDSA Shangri-La Hotel today, August 7.

The Breastfeeding Friendly Public Place Award recognizes the efforts of MCIA in providing a welcoming and safe space for breastfeeding mothers and their families at the airport, announced the GMR MEGAWIDE Cebu Airport Corporation (GMCAC) and the Mactan-Cebu International Airport Authority (MCIAA).

FOR MOTHERS. The Baby Care Room in MCIA Terminal 1.

FOR MOTHERS. The Baby Care Room in MCIA Terminal 1.

Resort-themed airport

“The baby care room was one of the significant changes introduced to MCIA after we had our first Airport User’s Forum (AUF) and this award recognizes the result of that successful collaboration. Moreover, this is a testament of our commitment to continue transforming MCIA as the world’s friendliest resort-themed airport,” said GMCAC chief executive advisor Andrew Acquaah-Harrison.

Through the feedback and insights gathered from the AUF, the baby care room was redesigned into a welcoming, clean, and friendly facility where mothers can safely and comfortably attend to their children.

The baby care room in MCIA’s Terminal 1 was opened in May 2016 and features 4 breastfeeding cubicles with curtain partitions to provide privacy. It also has lavatories for handwashing and sanitizing breast milk containers; a refrigerator and a microwave oven for storing and reheating breast milk; and nappy changing stations. A FIDS (flight information display system) monitor is also installed inside so mothers can keep track of their flights without having to get out of the baby care room.

AWARD FOR MCIA. (From left) PPS President Dr. Salvacion Gatchalian, GMCAC Safety, Quality Head John Binamira, GMCAC Terminal Operations Head (T1) Nenette Castillion, and Dr. Claire Pascual from the PPS Breastfeeding Committee during the awarding.

AWARD FOR MCIA. (From left) PPS President Dr. Salvacion Gatchalian, GMCAC Safety, Quality Head John Binamira, GMCAC Terminal Operations Head (T1) Nenette Castillion, and Dr. Claire Pascual from the PPS Breastfeeding Committee during the awarding.

Mothers working at MCIA

Aside from traveling mothers, the facility is also available for mothers who are working at the airport. It is open daily and can be found in Terminals 1 and 2.

With the vision of transforming the traveling experience of and providing a friendly service to its passengers, private operator GMCAC invited different airport users to share their feedback and suggestions in a forum dubbed the Airport User’s Forum (AUF).

Launched in August 2015, The AUF forms part of GMCAC’s stakeholder engagement initiatives where it endeavors to seek feedback from airport users to ensure that the airport’s improvements and development meet the needs of passengers with specific traveling needs and requirements.

“This initiative is designed to go beyond the traditional approach of the airport operator carrying out improvements without consultation and feedback from community users,” Harrison said. (Press Release)

Events Travel

Mactan Cebu Airport welcomes China Southern Airlines, Juneyao Airlines

GMR-MEGAWIDE Cebu Airport Corp. (GMCAC), the private company managing the terminal operations and other related areas of the Mactan-Cebu International Airport (MCIA), welcomes China Southern Airlines and Juneyao Airlines with the launch of its direct flights to Guangzhou and Shanghai, respectively.

On January 22, China Southern Airlines started the Cebu-Guangzhou direct route thrice weekly every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. About 147 passengers arrived in MCIA on its inaugural flight from Guangzhou using a Boeing 737-800 aircraft.

More connections for Cebu

“As the largest airline in China and a SkyTeam Alliance member, China Southern Airlines will open up more connections for Cebu to Europe and North America via Guangzhou,” said Aines Librodo, GMCAC Head of Airline Marketing and Tourism Development.

China Southern Airlines operates two hubs in Guangzhou and Beijing and is a member of SkyTeam alliance since 2007.

China Southern Airlines
CHINA SOUTHERN AIRLINES crew together with DOT 7 Director Shalimar Tamano, China Southern Airlines General Manager for Philippines Pan Feng, Chinese Consul General Jia Li and GMCAC Chief Commercial Advisor Ravishankar Saravu.


Meanwhile, Juneyao Airlines will launch its Cebu-Shanghai Pudong flight on Thursday, January 24, with thrice weekly flights every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. It will utilize an Airbus A320 with a capacity of 158 passengers, with business and economy accommodations.

It is a privately-owned airline and operates two hubs at Shanghai Pudong and Shanghai Hongqiao airports. It is also the launch carrier of the Star Alliance Connecting Partner.

Mainland China destinations

Juneyao Airlines previously operated charter flights in the same route but only for a few weeks in November 2017.

“We are delighted to welcome back Juneyao Airlines to MCIA. With its strong domestic connection, Juneyao Airlines will offer more opportunities for Cebu into the vast Chinese market, specially that it is headquartered in Shanghai,” Librodo said.

Juneyao Airlines
WATER CANNON salute ceremony for Juneyao Airlines inaugural flight Cebu-Shanghai in November 2017. (File Photo)


Currently, scheduled flights connect MCIA to seven destinations in mainland China namely, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Chongqing, Fuzhou, Xiamen, Kunming and Shenzhen. Charter flights are also available during the peak season.

In total, MCIA is connected to 32 domestic destinations and 20 international destinations, with 8 Philippine-based airline partners and 18 foreign airline partners. (Press Release)

Business Travel

New Mactan Cebu airport terminal set to open by middle of 2018

Terminal 2 of the Mactan Cebu International Airport (MCIA) is on track to open as scheduled by July 1 this year, but GMR-Megawide Cebu Airport Corporation (GMCAC) is working to have it ready to operate by the first of June.

In the lead-up to opening day, GMR-Megawide will invite stakeholders to check out and test the facility through a series of activities that will be held from April to June, said chief executive advisor Andrew Acquaah Harrison.

To be invited are representatives from the academe especially engineering students, media, and tourism industry such as those in the hotel, travel, and transport sectors.

There will also be open days when GMCAC, the consortium managing the terminal operations and other related areas of MCIA, will invite members of the general public to register for a tour of the facility, according to branding head JR Torres.

MCIA Terminal 2
CONSTRUCTION UPDATE. Mactan Cebu International Airport Terminal 2 is on track to open as scheduled by July 1 this year.

Terminal 2 features

Harrison added that the new terminal will have three levels with total space of 65,000 square meters and increase the Cebu airport’s passenger capacity to 12.5 million.

It pays tribute to Cebu as a resort island and Cebuano heritage of furniture making in the terminal roof that uses glulam, first ever use of the material in an airport, and mimics ocean waves. Glulam, also called glued laminated timber, is made up of layers of wood bonded together with structural adhesives.

The new terminal will have a spacious and airy atmosphere, featuring ceilings that are 26 meters high and full glass walls. The polished concrete floor will have mother of pearls mixed in so it would sparkle like sand in the sunlight.

Mactan airport Terminal 2
SPARKLING FLOOR. The polished concrete floor will have mother of pearls mixed in so it would sparkle like sand in the sunlight.

Located on a separate floor from the arrival area, the departure level will only have two check-in islands but with several counters.

Increasing passenger traffic

MCIA eyes passenger traffic of 11.2 million in 2018, an increase of 12 percent from last year, with the opening of Terminal 2 and the launch of new flights out of Cebu.

The airport welcomed six additional airlines in 2017, including Air Juan, Juneyao Air, OK Air, Lucky Air, Sichuan Airlines, and Pan Pacific Airlines.

GMCAC credits the positive growth in MCIA’s passenger traffic to its destination marketing initiatives and its positioning of Cebu as gateway to the rest of the Philippines and major transfer hub to international destinations. Harrison said they will continue with their efforts in this direction.

Once the new terminal is operational, Torres said they will start a major renovation of Terminal 1. GMCAC had started initial rehabilitation of the old terminal when it took over management of MCIA and put up a rooftop solar power system that resulted in monthly savings of P1.2 million in electric consumption.

Mactan airport Terminal 2
INCREASED CAPACITY. GMR-Megawide chief executive advisor Andrew Acquaah Harrison says the new terminal will have three levels with total space of 65,000 square meters and increase the Cebu airport’s passenger capacity to 12.5 million.

News Places

Cebu Pacific adds Good Friday flights from Cebu to 3 top destinations

Cebu Pacific is opening additional round-trip flights this April 3, Good Friday, from Cebu to three destinations.

These are Caticlan, Puerto Princesa, and Siargao, according to a statement from GMR Megawide corporate affairs head Estee Marie Patiño Plunket.

good friday flights
Cebu Pacific adds three round-trip flights from Cebu to Caticlan, Puerto Princesa, and Siargao for April 3, Good Friday.

The following are the Cebu Pacific flight numbers for the respective routes: 5J 140 and 5J 141 for Cebu-Caticlan-Cebu, 5J 231 and 5J 232 for Cebu-Puerto Princesa-Cebu, and 5J 879 and 5J 880 for Cebu-Siargao-Cebu.

Business News

GMR-Megawide signs financing agreement for Mactan airport project

GMR-Megawide celebrated a collaboration with the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and a consortium of Philippine banks that ensure solid funding for the rehabilitation and expansion of the Mactan-Cebu International Airport (MCIA).

Executives of ADB and six Philippine banks and officials of GMR-Megawide Cebu Airport Corp. (GMCAC) recently marked the project’s financial closure with a ceremonial signing of the Omnibus Loan and Security Agreement (OLSA).

mactan airport project
GMR-Megawide executives sign loan agreement with officials of ADB and a consortium of six Philippine banks for Mactan airport project.

The OLSA allows the corporation to cover 70 percent of the total Mactan airport project cost, a press statement from the company said.

GMR-Megawide signed the loan agreement with a consortium of banks composed of the BDO Capital and Investment Corp., its lead arranger, and Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI), Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP), Land Bank of the Philippines (Landbank), Metropolitan Bank & Trust Company (MBTC) and Philippine National Bank (PNB) in December 2014.

OLSA signing

It was amended in January 2015 to include the $75 million loan for the airport project from ADB, the biggest social development funder in the Asian region. ADB and the six big Philippine banks provide a total of P23 billion in debt financing to GMR Megawide for the project.

GMR Megawide was represented by its President Manuel Louie Ferrer and Chief Executive Adviser Andrew Acquaah-Harrison during the ceremonial signing at the Mactan airport last February 18, a company statement said.

It added that ADB President Takehiko Nakao and the presidents or key officers of the banks participating in the consortium attended the milestone event.

Undersecretary Jaime Limcaoco of the Department of Transportation and Communications and Public-Private Partnership (PPP) Center Executive Director Cosette Canilao were also in attendance.

Growth catalyst

The support of the ADB and wide participation of Philippine banks in the financing of the MCIA expansion is a validation by the banking industry of the financial viability of the MCIA project and its role in the growth of Cebu and the rest of the Philippines, Ferrer said in his welcome message.

He stressed that infrastructure improvements boost the country’s growth, “particularly in tourism and other key sectors that create employment opportunities and promote sustainable and inclusive economic progress.”

With Cebu contributing 6.2% to the Philippine gross domestic product, the expansion of MCIA is considered a significant catalyst to economic development.

Citing that the Philippines was ranked in 2014 by the World Economic Forum 113th out of 148 countries in terms of airport transport facilities, Ferrer says the MCIA is poised to raise airport standards through “hard work” and “genuine, impeccable service.”

He added that GMCAC is mindful of “the chance we have been given to improve, not only this facility, but also the country’s competitiveness in airport infrastructure.”

MCIA capacity

The concession will effectively expand the annual passenger handling capacity of the MCIA from its present 4.5 million to 12.5 million. The existing terminal currently operates well above its capacity with about 7 million passengers yearly.

GMCAC was formed after the consortium of GMR Infrastructure Ltd. of India and the Philippines’s Megawide Construction Corporation was awarded the concession for the renovation and expansion of the country’s second busiest aviation hub.

Under the concession agreement, it will manage landside operations for 25 years. The project is the first large-scale PPP project rolled out under the Aquino administration.

The GMR Group, with a diverse portfolio of businesses, is the world’s fourth largest airport operator. Megawide Construction, on the other hand, is recognized in the Philippines as a leader in the infrastructure sector, pioneering cutting-edge technology and innovation within the industry. (Press release)


GMR-Megawide faces challenges in Mactan airport expansion

Delays in the relocation of Philippine Air Force (PAF) structures within the proposed site of the Mactan-Cebu International Airport (MCIA) new terminal could put off the project’s completion by 10 months, an executive of GMR-Megawide said recently.

There are currently 17 Air Force structures scattered throughout the 110.9 acres (44.9 hectares) that span the total area of the Mactan airport expansion project, added GMR-Megawide Cebu Airport Corporation chief executive advisor Andrew Acquaah-Harrison.

One PAF building that serves as base terminal for military flights that land in Cebu sits right on the middle of the MCIA Terminal 2 footprint, which has an area of 5.4 acres (2.2 hectares), he further said.

“Under the concession agreement (with the Philippine government), the property was supposed to have been given to us by December 2014,” Harrison said. GMR-Megawide was awarded the contract to undertake the Mactan Cebu International Airport expansion in April last year.

Although a contractor has been picked to undertake the replication of PAF facilities in another area of the Mactan-Benito Ebuen Air Base and given the signal to proceed, Harrison said the project timeline was for anywhere from 100 to 300 days.

Andrew Acquaah Harrison
GMR-Megawide Cebu Airport Corporation chief executive advisor Andrew Acquaah-Harrison updates journalists on the progress in the work on the Mactan-Cebu International Airport new terminal.

Interim solution

According to him, PAF officials continue to reject their proposal for the Air Force to use the nearby MIP (Most Important Persons) Building as a temporary terminal so GMR-Megawide could already start work on the project.

The consortium, he added, is working with the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC), Mactan Cebu International Airport Authority (MCIAA), and other stakeholders to find solutions to the problem so the new terminal can be completed and opened by February 2018.

Consortium executives had met several times with PAF and MCIAA officials since November to discuss the interim solution but reached no agreement.

He said he understands that the Air Force wants to ensure its operations wouldn’t be compromised, especially if it has to mobilize air assistance in times of catastrophes, but it can still achieve this even if it transfers to the MIP Building.

“The MIP solution is reasonable. There is sufficient area on the (Mactan-Benito Ebuen Air Force) apron for half to be occupied by PAF (aircraft) and the other half to be used by the consortium (when it starts work on Terminal 2),” Harrison pointed out. The airport apron is where aircraft are parked, unloaded or loaded, refueled, or boarded.

Cary Santiago design
NEW UNIFORMS. The new uniform of the Mactan-Cebu International Airport staff was designed by Cary Santiago.

Terminal 2 challenges

It would take GMR-Megawide, according to Harrison, only two weeks to redraw its plans once PAF agrees to its recommendation so it could proceed with the work on the terminal and ensure that Air Force operations continue.

Harrison said MCIAA general manager Nigel Paul Villarete informed them recently that Air Force officials were interested in another meeting to discuss the consortium’s suggestion but no date has been set.

“We have certain options under the concession agreement but we don’t want to get into that. We want to open the new terminal on time. We need this capacity,” he added, citing the current terminal was built to cater to an average of 4.5 million passengers but is serving 7 million per year.

Mactan-Cebu International Airport expansion
AIRPORT PROJECT. The area enclosed in red is the Terminal 2 project while those bounded in blue line is the total project area.

Another challenge faced by the consortium is the delay in importing materials needed for the Mactan airport project.

Harrison said the project, as a public-private partnership (PPP) initiative that is worth over P1 billion, can import duty-free materials for three years. Two months after submitting documents so it could avail of this incentive, he added, GMR-Megawide still has to get approval from the Bureau of Investments.