Mactan-Cebu Airport eyes to build mall, hotel as long-term investment

Mactan-Cebu Airport eyes to build mall, hotel as long-term investment

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By: Morexette Marie B. Erram
7 hours ago


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The Mactan-Cebu International Airport.| file photo

CEBU CITY, Philippines – In a bid to improve its services and facilities, operators at the country’s second busiest airport planned to open up a mall and hotel there.

Executives at Aboitiz InfraCapital revealed plans of putting up a mall and hotel as part of their long-term investments for Mactan-Cebu International Airport (MCIA).

While not providing any specific numbers, Rafael Aboitiz, vice president and head of airports at Aboitiz InfraCapital, said they are eyeing to invest ‘billions’ for the airport in the next five to 15 years.

Among the plans they’re eyeing include having a mall, a hotel, and possibly expanding vital infrastructure like its terminals and apron.

“A component like a hotel or a mall or maybe other commercial offerings will be part of the holistic plan to expand the airport,” Aboitiz told reporters on Wednesday, June 19.

With travel and tourism nearing a full recovery from the pandemic, Aboitiz said theydecided to revisit their infrastructure investment for MCIA.

“So, when we look at an asset like Cebu, we look at making an investment not just in the airport, but the surrounding infrastructure that supports it,” he added.

As of Wednesday, site development for the mall, located right beside the arrivals area of Terminal 2, is ongoing.

Other airports

The MCIA is Aboitiz InfraCapital’s first venture in the airport business.

The infrastructure arm of the Aboitiz conglomerate is also eyeing to takeover operations of two other airports in Visayas and Mindanao – the one in Panglao, Bohol and in Cagayan de Oro City.

Aboitiz, however, begged off to provide further details, adding that negotiations are still ongoing.

Cebu Connect

Aside from significant infrastructure investments, Aboitiz InfraCapital also planned to transform the airport in Mactan as the next transit hub in Southeast Asia.

Recently, they launched the Cebu Connect, an initiative aimed at providing seamless transfer and flight connections by reducing layover from an hour to 30 minutes or less.

When sought for comment in a recent interview, Vishnu Rajendran, the Philippines country manager for Cathay Pacific, welcomed this initiative of MCIA, citing the airport being a preferred gateway in the Philippines.

He highlighted Cebu’s “market growth potential” as a hub due to its advanced airport infrastructure.

He praised the airport’s user-friendly facilities and its convenience as a gateway to the Visayas and Mindanao.

Rajendran mentioned that leisure and business travel in and out of Cebu is improving beyond pre-pandemic levels. As a result, Cathay Pacific will increase its flights from Cebu to Hong Kong to eight times weekly starting Oct. 28.

This indicates the continued recovery of air travel from Cebu, he said. /with reports from Carl Lorenciana, copy editor 

/clorenciana

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