(PNA file photo by Cristina Arayata)

MANILA – More airlines will be transferred to different terminals of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) beginning April, as part of the management's schedule and terminal assignment rationalization (STAR) program.

Based on the advisory posted on NAIA's Facebook page, the flights of Jetstar Japan, Jetstar Asia, Scoot, China Southern Airlines and Starlux Airlines will move from Terminal 1 to Terminal 3 starting April 16.

Concurrently, Philippine Airlines (PAL) flights to and from Singapore, Ho Chi Minh, Hanoi, and Phnom Penh will be moved from Terminal 2 to Terminal 1.

The Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) earlier announced that all the remaining PAL international flights in Terminal 2 will be transferred to Terminal 1 by June 16.

Terminal 2, which PAL has been using for all its flight operations via Manila, will be an all-domestic facility starting July 1.

PAL's flights to and from the United States, Canada and Middle East have been transferred to Terminal 1 since December, also as part of the MIAA's STAR program.

By June 1, operations of Ethiopian Airlines and Jeju Air will move from Terminal 1 to Terminal 3.

MIAA general manager Cesar Chiong, in a statement, said the program was well-studied, and that the MIAA has met with airlines and stakeholders to ensure their readiness plan.

"We advised them to get in touch with their affected passengers," said Chiong, adding that the management is asking for understanding as the move may cause "minor inconveniences" during the transition period.

Chiong also said that with the STAR program, the Terminal 2's capacity will increase by at least 20 percent, accommodating up to 10 million passengers annually from its current capacity of 7.5 million passengers a year.

He said removing the Immigration counters at Terminal 2 would give space for the expansion. Further, the Customs, Immigration, and Quarantine personnel assigned at Terminal 2 could then augment the manpower at Terminals 1 and 3.

Meanwhile, the MIAA also announced that all the domestic flights of AirAsia will begin operating at Terminal 2 starting July 1. Cebu Pacific (CEB) and CebGo's domestic flights, however, will remain at Terminals 3 and 4 in the meantime.

In a radio interview over the weekend, MIAA senior assistant manager Bryan Co said this is because CEB has a huge volume of operations.

He, however, said the MIAA envisions having Terminal 2 as the sole and primary domestic hub, but this will only happen once the facility is expanded. (PNA)