Airport officials report lighter passenger traffic as Undas trips are spread out over days

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NAIA Terminal 3. INTERAKSYON FILE PHOTO

MANILA – Light traffic at the expressways – on account of people spreading their Undas observance over several days this year – was reflected in the country’s airports. Passenger traffic at the country’s airports was expected to reach nearly 75,000, according to authorities, who observed that the number of travelers appears to have been spread out since the weekend.

On Monday, officials counted 73,553 people passing through the NAIA terminals – and a higher number is expected for Tuesday, the last day of travel for those wishing to make it to their destinations for observing Undas.

Ed Monreal, general manager of the Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA), said, “Mas marami ngayon being the last day of travel to provinces celebrating Undas. Mas marami ngayon kaysa kahapon [More people are expected today as it’s the last day for going to the provinces to mark Undas. More people today than yesterday].”

Nonetheless, officials expected fewer numbers Tuesday compared to the 2016 Undas because it was observed that many people had already traveled last weekend.

Monreal noted that, “the holidays were announced months earlier so people were able to plan their trips. [I guess some people filed for leave yesterday, Monday] – and today being a holiday, so [we saw a] spread in travels . . . since Friday we have experienced an increase in volume.”

As a result of the travelers being spread out over several days, there were no long lines or the usual congestion at the NAIA terminals this year.

“Based on my experience in the past, it’s better this year. There were no delays and hassles,” said Monreal, speaking partly in Filipino.

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Bad weather was a spoiler for some travelers, though. Two flights going to and from Legaspi City had to be cancelled on account of the weather.

Meanwhile, authorities are this early already planning on how to ensure smooth operations when tens of thousands of travelers return from their Undas journeys.

Officials reminded travelers not to engage services of colorum vehicles at the airports’ arrival areas.

People fetching travelers were advised to follow strictly traffic rules around the terminals to avoid mishaps.