new terminal three, which has been closed due to a legal dispute even though construction
was completed three years ago.
low-cost carrier Cebu Pacific so far is the only
airline that has agreed to participate in the trials and currently it has just one
return flight planned out of the terminal, a Manila-Hong Kong-Manila service,
MIAA spokeswoman Judith Dolot says from the
says MIAA will ensure all the appropriate customs, immigration and quarantine facilities
are ready to process the Cebu Pacific passengers
departing for and arriving from Hong
are working to have the operational trial on 31 March…and it is up to the
airline if it wants to add more” flights, says Dolot.
Cebu Pacific is primarily a domestic carrier but it has two
international flights a day that depart from Manila. MIAA hopes the airline will
eventually have both daily services departing from terminal three.
Dolot also says no carrier has signed a lease to move into the
new terminal although all the international airlines currently operating to Manila
are interested in it. But even if an airline signed a firm lease
agreement now it would need six months to move over from the old terminal one,
she adds. Terminal two is occupied exclusively by Philippine
Cebu Pacific marketing director Candice Iyog confirms that the carrier plans to have some
international flights from terminal three and is aiming for a March start.
But “we are not sure yet whether it will push though [happen] in March”, she
of the third terminal was completed in 2003 but its opening has been delayed
because of a legal dispute between the Philippine Government and the Philippine
International Air Terminals (PIATCO) consortium, which built
and was originally supposed to have operated the terminal.
Philippine Government took over the terminal in late 2004 and vowed to open it
to airline operations as soon as possible.
airport operator Fraport, which owns 30% of PIATCO,
is demanding compensation from the Philippine Government and currently has a
case before the International Centre for Settlement
of Investment Disputes of the World Bank in Washington DC.