Xiamen Airlines makes an eye-opener, says Head of Tourism

A Xiamen Airlines Boeing 737-800 is shown next to the fence along the airport after it has passed the runway at Ninoy Aquino International Airport, August 17, 2018. Eloisa Lopez, Reuters

The weekend closure of the main airport of the Philippine capital due to a stuck Xiamen Airlines jet was an eye-opener & # 39; for authorities to improve protocols, Ambassador of Tourism Bernadette told Romulo-Puyat Wednesday.

Romulo-Puyat said the country was "on track" to meet its tourist arrival targets due to the recent upgrade of air terminals, including the New Mactan Cebu Airport. The Philippines is aiming for 7.4 million visitors this year and 12 million by 2022, she said.

"We need to improve procedures and protocols and processes, this is actually an eye-opener," Romulo-Puyat told ANC & # 39; s Headstart.

Romulo-Puyat said that she & # 39; pretty surprised & # 39; was that tourist arrivals increased despite the six-month closure of Boracay.

"We did not want this to happen but it happened." We support (Transportation) Sec. (Arthur) Tugade, so this does not happen again, "she said.

Apart from the new airport of Mactan and plans to renew the Ninoy Aquino International Airport, Romulo-Puyat said that some airports have recently acquired night capacity and pave the way for longer opening times.

"With the improvements of our airports, we will see more foreign tourists arriving," she said.

On 16 August, a Boeing 737 of Xiamen Airlines shot past the only runway of the NAIA and paralyzed the operations for almost 2 days. At least 200 flights were canceled.

Philippine authorities are investigating the incident.

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