Singapore Airlines to relocate to new Manila airport terminal next month

MANILA, Philippines - After 17 years, the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (Naia) Terminal 3 will become fully operational by July 31, the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) said Thursday.

"We are extremely pleased to confirm that full airline operations will begin at NAIA Terminal 3 next week. Our gateway airport will now be able to welcome 3.5 million more passengers with modern facilities every year, and Terminal 1 will now be considerably decongested to improve passenger convenience," DOTC Secretary Jun Abaya said in a statement Thursday.

"The Manila International Airport Authority (Miaa) has informed us that Delta Airlines will have its first flight out of Terminal 3 on August 1st, while KLM Royal Dutch Airlines will move within the first week of August. Singapore Airlines, Emirates, and Cathay Pacific will follow suit by the end of next month. These five carriers have the highest volume of international flights coming in and out of Naia, so we look forward to giving them a new home," he said.

The Naia Terminal 3 project was awarded in 1997 and was supposed to be completed in 2002.

It was 58 per cent operational in 2008 after legal disputes.

"Takenaka's US$40 million (S$49.5 million) contract began in August 2013. Over the past one-year period, the Japanese firm has undertaken completion works for systems such as, flight information displays, computer terminals, gate coordination, landing bridges, and fire protection systems," DOTC said in the statement.

"As of July 18, 2014, around 85 per cent of these works had been completed. Certain systems which are non-critical to full airline operations, such as the building maintenance system, will be completed within the year," it said.

DOTC said that the transfer of five airlines will reduce Terminal 1's annual passenger throughput from the current eight million down to its design capacity of 4.5 million.

"This will free up more space at Terminal 1 and reduce the number of travelers affected by the ongoing rehabilitation works," it said.