ALI Technopark Seen to Drive Massive Airfreight in Northern Mindanao

Nov 9, 2018

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A planned technopark in western Misamis Oriental is foreseen to bring a boom in air cargo traffic to and from Northern Mindanao.

The planned 105-hectare technopark is the anchor project of Habini Bay, Ayala Land Inc.’s (ALI) 26th estate with a total of 526 hectares, making it the biggest ALI development to date in the Visayas and Mindanao.

ALI President and CEO Bobby Dy led a press launch for the new growth center project at the plush Seda Centrio last Wednesday, 07 November 2018, followed by the ground breaking at the project site in the afternoon.

ALI executives and staff pose for a memento during the ground breaking of Habini Bay Estate at Laguindingan, Misamis Oriental. (photo by Medard Fiel Hamoy Paler)


“We will anchor this estate with an industrial park, it will be done by one of our subsidiaries, Laguna Technopark, it is the leading industrial estate development,” Dy said. “Our flagship project is Laguna Technopark in Sta. Rosa, Laguna has close to 500 hecteres and currently locators employ close to 100,000 people in that particular development. ”

Logistics boom

In an exclusive interview with BusinessWeek Mindanao late last year, the executive officer of German logistics giant DB Schenker said the influx of light manufacturing industries into the planned technopark of Ayala Land, Inc.  in the municipalities of Laguidingan and Alubijid would drive a “massive increase in airfreight for Laguindingan (ICAO: CGY) Airport.”

DB Schenker opened its first office in Mindanao in Cagayan de Oro late last year. (DB Schenker photo)

 

Jonathon Kottegoda-Breden, DB Schenker North East Asia and Philippines CEO, said the ALI technopark was one of the key factors why they decided to locate their first Mindanao office in nearby Cagayan de Oro City, some 33 kms. away from CGY airport.

Even earlier, Air Water Logistics Co., Ltd., an affiliate of Japanese conglomerate Air Water Inc. conducted a fact-finding mission in the area to explore the establishment of a logistics hub in CGY Airport, in partnership with Ayala Corp. The mission also looked into the planned airport expansion and establishment of a seaport in the vicinity by the Philippine Ports Authority.

Oro Chamber trade delegation meets with Air Water Inc. Global Business Dept. in Osaka Japan Novermber 2017. (Oro Chamber Photo)

 

Laguindingan (CGY) Airport

Since it started operations in the second quarter of 2013, Laguindingan Airport has accommodated 58,309 flights; 6,835,913 passengers;  and 87,544 metric tons (MT) of cargo, making it the 5th busiest airport in the Philippines after Manila, Cebu, Davao and Kalibo, which are all international airports.

Over the last four equivalent years it’s been in operation (2nd quarter 2013 to 2nd quarter 2017), Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) statistics show CGY averaging annually some 14,600 flights; 1.75 million passengers, and 22,000MT of cargo.

That’s 3,644 flights per quarter moving 428,000 passengers and 5,472 MT of cargo.

The CEB Factor

Other recent developments expected to drive the growth of airfreight in Northern Mindanao is the recent conversion of two Cebu Pacific ATR-72-500 passenger aircraft to all cargo freighters and the addition of palletized A321s to its growing fleet. Cebu Pacific could potentially convert all eight of its ATR 72-500 passenger aircraft to freighters.

The aircraft will have space for seven LD3 containers, and will be able to carry more than seven tons of cargo.

 

The ATR 72 freighters will significantly improve Cebu Pacific’s position in the domestic cargo market as the airline will be able to transport LD3 containers to regional airports. Cebu Pacific already has a large domestic and international cargo operation, using the bellies of its narrowbody and widebody fleets. However, it is not currently able to provide a cargo service to smaller airports in the Philippines because ATR 72 passenger aircraft have limited cargo capacity. 

Palletized A321s will also drive increase in cargo revenues

Cebu Pacific took delivery of its first palletized narrowbody in Mar-2018, when it added its first A321ceo, then taking another four A321ceos with palletized floors in 2Q2018, and the airline is slated to take a final two A321ceos by the end of 3Q2018.

The palletized A321s have been very successful for Cebu Pacific in the first four months, exceeding expectations in terms of cargo volume and yield. Cebu Pacific has also not had to sacrifice turnaround times, an important component of the LCC model, to accommodate LD3 containers.

CEB took delivery of its first Airbus A321 aircraft on 22 March 2018, setting it up for a year of growth.

 

Cebu Pacific has also opted for palletized floors on its future A321neo fleet. The group has 32 A321neos on order, which will mainly be used to replace A320ceos that do not have palletized floors, and those are for delivery from late 2018 to 2022.

There are currently only slightly more than 100 ATR freighters in operation worldwide and the total large turboprop freighter fleet consists of less than 600 aircraft, according to the CAPA Fleet database. ATR is bullish on the cargo market and expects 460 turboprop freighters to be delivered over the next 20 years – a combination of newly launched ATR 72-600Fs and converted older models.

Demand is expected to be particularly strong in Southeast Asia. There are currently only 10 turboprop freighters in operation in Southeast Asia, compared to 400 passenger turboprops.  

CEB 7th Regional Hub

Not the least, the convergence of the new technopark, cargo trends in Laguindingan airport, new all cargo and palletized capabilities of domestic airliners, come together just as Cebu Pacific’s launch of Laguindingan airport its seventh regional hub in the Philippines marked its first year last month.

Pres Rodrigo Duterte, Cebu Pacific Pres & CEO Lance Gokongwei unveil the commemorative marker at the Oct 20, 2017 launch of CGY as CEB’s 7th Regional Hub. (courtesy of Charo L. Lagamon)

 

With the direct flights to nine unique domestic destinations in the Philippines, Laguindingan’s transformation into a regional cargo hub becomes not only imminent as its becomes an aggregator of cargos from smaller regional airports to larger international hubs like Manila, Cebu, Davao and Kalibo and the “massive air freight” foreseen by DB Schenker from ALI’s Habini Bay Technopark reaches its full potential.

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