Press Release
July 1, 2020

Hit by pandemic, NAIA may soon become 'Need Assistance International Airport'

NAIA's immediate problem is not its signage, but its bottomline, as travel lockdown may cut its 2020 revenues by as much as P10 billion-- barely enough for the country's gateway to keep payroll and the lights on, Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto said.

"NAIA is a corporation, deriving its income from what its users pay, be they airlines or passengers. The disappearance of these customers will severely impact its financials," Recto said.

On a forecast 3 percent increase in passenger traffic, the four-terminal airport was projecting a gross revenue of P15.43 billion this year.

"But if the pandemic-imposed air travel restrictions will continue, a 60 percent cut on income will bring down its gross revenues to P6.05 billion, and to P4.53 billion if it will be a deeper 70 percent reduction," Recto said.

"Yung real payroll ng NAIA is at least P3.3 billion a year, to include contracted services like security and others. Tapos may water and power pa na about P1.5 billion," Recto said, citing the Corporate Operating Budget of the Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) for FY 2020.

"Kung sa current income lang kukunin ang mga ito, baka kapusin. It may have to dig into its reserves," he said.

MIAA's "pre-COVID-19" income estimate for 2020 projected a P5.4 billion collection on passenger terminal fees, P4.1 billion on aeronautical fees, P2.8 billion on rentals, and the rest mostly on concessionaire fees.

"This year, it was expecting 21.7 million departing passengers, net of exempted individuals like OFWs, to pay the terminal fee. Then coronavirus landed, turning the airport into a ghost town," he said.

"Last year, it handled 277,530 incoming and outgoing flights, but because of the pandemic, the airport has become a quieter place. No commercial flights, no fees," Recto said.

Recto said even the airport's income from car parking has taken a hit.

"Yung sa airport car parking na lang, ang expected na income was P418 million, or P1.15 million daily, pero pati ito naglaho na. Ang nakapark na lang yata doon mga stranded na kababayan natin," Recto said.

He said terminal concessionaires like fastfood outlets, if they have not closed yet, are qualified for various rent forgiveness or deferral modes under government laws and rules.

Recto said NAIA also shares its "profits" to the government, remitting P2 billion last year. "Baka P500 million na lang ito for this year, and that is a best case estimate."

Recto said it is up to the government's transportation managers to guide NAIA through the downturn. "Tingin ko kaya pa naman. Pero kung walang full resumption, then it will have to change its call sign to 'Need Assistance International Airport.'"

"All of NAIA's customers are in distress. PAL and CebPac have in fact sent out financial 'Maydays'. Yung OFW na large segment, wala rin," he said.

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