Stock - Philippines Ninoy Aquino International Airport
A scene at Manila's Ninoy Aquino International Airport. Aiport officials are gearing for the expected surge in travellers in the runup to the Christian Holy Week and Easter. Image Credit: AFP

Manila: With the Holy Week travel coming up, make sure you show up earlier than usual at the airport.

That’s the advice for outbound passengers given by airport authorities here Wednesday, with the expected surge in travellers in the runup to Christian Holy Week and Easter.

In view of the rush, and to avoid unnecessary delays, Philippine airport authorities have given the following tips to passengers:

  • Outbound travellers were urged to show up three hours before an international flight — and two hours before a domestic flight.
  • If you're travelling, pack your own luggage.
  • Avoid bringing forbidden goods to avoid delays at screening checkpoints.
  • The list of forbidden objects on board the aircraft can be seen on the Office of Transport Security (OTS) website and social media outlets.

Unprecedented demand

Top destinations in the Philippines – Manila, Cebu, and Clark – are witnessing unprecedented demand from expatriates and tourists during tourism season, expected to peak from next week until around April 9, Easter Sunday.

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Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) officials said that more than 1.2 million passengers are scheduled to transit through the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) from April 1 to 10, 2023 as airlines have ramped up flight services to the Asian country.

"We are on the road to recovery," MIAA senior assistant general manager Bryan Co told a press conference Wednesday. He said measures to deal with the influx of airport users are in place.

Proactive measures

According to him, the Bureau of Immigration (BI) has devised standards that allow airline employees to look for passengers who are still in line during — or before — the boarding call.

The airline workers might then direct the passengers to another immigration desk where their documents could be processed faster.

Additional airport staff

The official told the Philippine News Agency (PNA) that the bureau has committed 60 workers to supplement the staffing at NAIA during Holy Week.

To help alleviate the serpentine queues, the official stated that airlines were urged to close their desks on time and not accept customers after the cut-off hour.

140,000 passenger volume

The MIAA had predicted a daily passenger volume of up to 140,000 at NAIA during the Holy Week, up from the present daily average of 120,000 people.

From April 1, the "threat and vulnerability assessment team" will be deployed in various transportation facilities, the Office for Transportation Security (OTS) said on Wednesday.

More than 2,400 personnel will work at airports across the country.