The Associated Press article PHILADELPHIA (AP) The price of flights to the Philippines has dropped sharply over the past year amid an economic rebound and the closure of most of the country’s airports.
But the airline industry still faces a tough challenge in attracting international travelers after years of record low fares and a government crackdown on illegal air travel.
International air travel is down by about half a percent this year compared with 2016, according to data from the International Air Transport Association.
It said the airline sector will see a 9.6 percent drop in international air traffic this year, with the biggest declines among smaller airlines.
More:The Philippines had a total of about 11.5 million international passengers in 2016.
That’s about 10.6 million fewer than in 2016, the IATA said.
That includes travelers from Europe, the Middle East and Asia.
More than half of all international travelers in the Philippines come from China, which is the world’s second-largest economy.
It accounts for about 13 percent of the total, according the ITA.
The United States is third, at 5 percent.
The ITA said the decline was driven by more travelers to destinations in Asia and the Pacific.
The number of flights originating from those destinations declined in 2016 by about 5 percent compared with the year before.
That was mainly because of the closure or shutdown of more than 40 air carriers, including the United Arab Emirates and China Southern.
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