NOTE: The Manila Airport recently decided to place the terminal assignment plan on hold.
A big shift will occur at Manila's Ninoy Aquino International Airport following calls from the Philippine Congress to improve the congestion at the country's main airport. The highlight of the news will be a shift of majority of the international airlines serving the city to Terminal 3, and the use of Terminal 2 exclusively for domestic flights.
According to the government-owned television network PTV, the new airline terminal assignments will be effective August 31. Among the biggest development is that Terminal 2 will no longer be exclusively used by Philippine Airlines. Instead, Philippine Airlines will keep their domestic flights there while Cebu Pacific's domestic operations will move to Terminal 2. Philippine Airlines' international flights will move to Terminal 1.
Terminal 3 will also see the addition of a large majority of international airlines from the existing handful that currently use the newest terminal at the airport. While Cebu Pacific will move the domestic flights to Terminal 2, its international flights will remain at Terminal 3. Terminal 3 will handle the majority of international flights except for four non-local airlines - Etihad, Japan Airlines, Saudia, Thai Airways - which will remain at Terminal 1.
All other domestic flights such as those from Air Asia will remain at Terminal 4. "Between now and August 31, the search for the best option is ongoing, but for now the option being looked into is this one. By September 1, the airlines should be where they should be,"MIAA Officer-in-Charge for Public Affairs Connie Bungag said in a report from The Rappler.
According to Bungag, the moves are in line with the original plan for the use of the terminals. "Terminals 1 and 3 were designed as international terminals, while Terminals 2 and 4 were designed for domestic [flights], so that's what we are intending [to] happen," she added.
The new airline assignment plan is the largest change for airlines and travellers to and from Manila, as the last major move was made by several international airlines - Emirates, KLM, Delta, Cathay Pacific, and Singapore Airlines - to Terminal 3 a few years ago. That was followed by Philippine Airlines shifting some of their domestic flights to Terminal 3, and international flights such as from Los Angeles and San Francisco arrivals to Terminal 1.
Here is a more complete listing of confirmed airline assignments as some airlines are still in talks with the airport officials:
Philippine Airlines (International)
Cebu Pacific Air (DOMESTIC)
Philippine Airlines (DOMESTIC)
Cebu Pacific (International)
China Eastern Airlines
China Southern Airlines
Delta Air Lines
KLM Royal Dutch Airlines
Royal Brunei Airlines
All other domestic flights not operated by Philippine Airlines and Cebu Pacific. Most likely Cebgo and Air Asia operations.