Flight Rationalization: PAL Moves to Terminal 3, CEB (domestic) to Terminal 2


The Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) is mulling the proposal of moving the international flight operations of flag carrier Philippine Airlines to the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 3 as part of their flight rationalization program. On orders of the Department of Transportation (DOTr), the airport management has only up to August 31 of this year to rationalize flights operating at the Manila airports in order to decongest and make terminal operations more efficient.

Earlier, it was reported that the MIAA was exploring the feasibility of transferring the international operations of Philippine Airlines (PAL) to NAIA Terminal 1 and share it with Etihad, Saudia, Japan Airlines and Thai Airways. In NAIA Terminal 2, PAL and Cebu Pacific (CEB) will jointly use the terminal for their domestic operations. In Terminal 3, all other foreign airlines along with Cebu Pacific will use this terminal for their international flights, while the NAIA Terminal 4 will be used by all other local air carriers for their domestic operations. However, this option will involve a great deal of costs and logistics for international air carriers moving from NAIA Terminal 1 to Terminal 3. The move not only entails moving their offices and equipment to the other terminal, but they also have to set up new lounges for their customers, which can be very costly. The move can also prove to be confusing to passengers as more than 12 carriers must move their operations from Terminal 1 to Terminal 3.

A new option has been placed on the table wherein operations at the NAIA Terminal 1 will maintain the status quo, with only Philippine Airlines moving their international operations to Terminal 3. NAIA Terminal 2 will be shared by PAL and CEB for their domestic flights and NAIA Terminal 3 will operate as a solely international terminal with PAL, CEB and all other international air carriers. Terminal 4 will be used by all other domestic air carriers.

An airport source disclosed that CEB operates more than 200 domestic flights per day at the NAIA Terminal 3, while PAL operates around 150 international flights (mostly) from NAIA Terminal 2. If CEB’s domestic operations are transferred to NAIA Terminal 2, and PAL’s international flights to Terminal 3, it would considerably decongest Terminal 3 without affecting all the other international air carriers currently operating at the terminal. Only two air carriers (PAL and CEB) will be slightly affected by the move as they already have offices and lounges inside Terminal 3. CEB on the other hand will have to set-up its new office and lounge at the NAIA Terminal 2 where their domestic flights will emanate from.

With this new proposal, the transfer of airline companies will be minimized avoiding costly moves as well as confusion for passengers on which terminal to go to.

Should the MIAA approve this proposal, the flight rationalization plan will be implemented on September 1, 2018 with only PAL and CEB being affected.

Should this option be put into place, this is where air carriers will be operating out of:


NAIA Terminal 1 (no changes except PAL int’l, out)

Saudia Airlines

Qatar Airways

Eva Air



Thai Airways

Royal Brunei Airlines

Xiamen Airlines

Turkish Airlines

United Airlines

Jetstar Asia

Ethiopian Airlines

Kuwait Airways


Jeju Air

Asiana Airlines


NAIA TERMINAL 2 (PAL Int’l out, CEB domestic in)

CEB Domestic flights

PAL Domestic flights


NAIA TERMINAL 3 (CEB domestic flights out)

CEB International flights

PAL International flights


Cathay Pacific Airways

Singapore Airlines

Air New Zealand

Delta Airlines

Cathay Dragon

Air Canada



NAIA TERMINAL 4 (no changes)





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