Four international airlines – Gulf Air, Thai Airways, Jeju Air, and Ethiopian Airlines – started operating at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport – Terminal 3, the Manila International Airport Authority announced on Friday.
The operation of the four airlines was relocated from Terminal 1 to Terminal 3 as part of MIAA’s Schedule and Terminal Assignment Rationalization (STAR) program to optimize the capacity of the four NAIA terminals.
“The transition of these carriers was seamless, just as it had been in previous phases of our STAR program. This is a result of our continuous coordination with airlines and ground handlers, our massive information drive to minimize instances of misrouted passengers and the proactive measures we have put in place to ensure that no passenger is left behind,” said Manila International Airport Authority Officer-in-Charge Bryan Co.
“We will continue to provide free shuttles for a period of two months to ferry passengers who may inadvertently head to the old terminal assignments of these flights.
We also made certain that airline ground handlers are present at the departure gates to direct passengers to the shuttle vehicles that will transport them to NAIA Terminal 3,” he added.
The STAR program is now on its final phase with the planned transfer of all Philippine Airlines international flights to NAIA Terminal 1 on June 16 and the subsequent transfer of all domestic flights of Philippines AirAsia and Royal Air Philippines to NAIA Terminal 2, alongside Sunlight Air’s move to NAIA Terminal 4 on July 1.
Upon completion of the STAR program, NAIA Terminal 2 will be home to all domestic operations of PAL, Philippines AirAsia, and Royal Air Philippines.
Meanwhile, Cebu Pacific Air’s domestic operations will continue to operate to and from NAIA Terminals 3 and 4, while MIAA works on further expanding the capacity of NAIA Terminal 2.
With the initial step in December last year when Philippine Airlines flights to and from the United States, Canada, Middle East and Bali were moved to Terminal 1, the MIAA was afforded the opportunity to improve efficiency of runway use and at the same time rationalize utilization of terminal spaces so it can offer more amenities to its increasing passenger traffic.
“It is indeed a daunting task to put into action a major decision like this considering the magnitude of operational challenges before us. We thank all our stakeholders for joining hands with us to bring this STAR program to fruition,” Co said.