Domestic and international transfer times at the Mactan-Cebu International Airport (MCIA), the country’s second busiest airport, are expected to reduce significantly with the introduction of a transfer system service dubbed Cebu Connect.

“This initiative will reduce transfer times significantly – from 90 minutes to 60 minutes for international connections and from 60 minutes to 35 minutes for domestic ones – making travel more seamless and enjoyable for our fellow Filipinos and tourists,” said Cosette V. Canilao, Aboitiz InfraCapital President & CEO.

Cebu Connect was launched in collaboration with the Bureau of Immigration, Department of Transportation, Department of Tourism, and the airport’s airline partners, including Cebu Pacific, Air Asia, and Philippine Airlines.

Canilao said the newest transfer system will bolster the Philippine tourism’s multiplier effect with tourists coming in and then investors, resulting in job creation across the country.

“Cebu Connect represents what we do in Aboitiz InfraCapital. More than just profit, we care about making a lasting impact on our communities and our nation. This means our businesses across our sectors strategically integrate, thereby creating greater value for our stakeholders,” she added.

MCIA hosts 15 airlines, of which five are local airlines and 15 are foreign airlines. The airport is connected to 40 destinations as of April.

MCIA chief executive officer Athanasios Titonis said the Cebu Connect system already started for domestic-to-domestic transfers while the domestic-to-international transfers will be launched in the coming months.

Under the new system, passengers with connecting flights no longer need to pick up their baggage from the baggage claim counter as they will be allowed to go straight to a designated gate where they undergo security clearances.

“To ease the journey for passengers, we decided to simplify transfers, especially for frequent flyers, families with small children, persons with disabilities, and individuals on medical or business trips where time is crucial,” he added.