AirAsia has officially painted the brand new Mactan Cebu International Airport Terminal 2 red with the maiden flight of their newest route from Cebu to Shanghai. AirAsia operates several international flights in Cebu namely Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, Taipei, Incheon, Shenzhen, Hangzhou and now, Shanghai. AirAsia, awarded as the World’s Best Low-Cost Airline for 10 consecutive years, is planning to add more international flights from Cebu.
Cebu is also expecting to add more international flights from different airline companies. The Queen City of the South will also have direct flights to Qatar, Australia and certain European countries soon.
I had the opportunity to freely roam around the departure area of the new Mactan Cebu International Airport Terminal 2 airport just like any regular passenger after the Cebu-Shanghai inaugural flight program hosted by AirAsia. The newly built airport is quite an eye candy and I’m glad that I don’t need to fly to Manila, the capital of the Philippines, once more international routes open up in this new terminal, which is just a stone’s throw away from our place.
Allow me to share the awesomeness of this new airport terminal in my hometown.
Mactan Cebu International Airport Terminal 2
The resort-themed Mactan-Cebu International Airport (MCIA) Terminal 2 opened its doors last July 1, 2018. This new terminal aims to increase Cebu’s annual passenger capacity from 4.5 million passengers per year to 12.5 million.
The resort-themed Mactan Cebu International Airport Terminal 2, built by Filipino-Indian consortium GMR-Megawide, which showcases beautiful curved wooden roof arcs that look like an inverted boat hull and wave-like ceilings that resemble that of a tropical and resort-like feel aims to delight everyone’s travel experience when promoting tourism in the Philippines.
An airport shuttle bus will be waiting at the entrance of the departure hall of the MCIA Terminal 2. To transfer to and from Terminal 1, just hop on that bus. It’s totally free!
The main entrance of the International Departure Hall is located on the left wing of the airport. You need to prepare your plane tickets or boarding pass for inspection before entering the International Departure Hall.
Once inside, you will see the massive wooden roof arcs that look like an inverted boat hull. It kinda reminds me of the skeleton of Noah’s ark.
The check-in counters donning rattan clearly epitomizes the Cebuano craftmanship. Rattan has been embedded in the history of Cebu’s furniture industry. As a matter of fact, Cebu is synonymous with rattan, just like dried mangoes, dried danggit (sun-dried rabbitfish), and guitars.
Whenever you need assistance, do not hesitate to approach any of these beautiful Customer Service Executives. They will be happy to assist you.
To save you time in checking in, always consider doing web check-ins before you reach the airport. Or feel free to use these self check-in kiosks too. We just hope they add more airlines to this machine. Currently, we only saw three.
Traffic going to the Mactan-Cebu International Airport can be quite stressful during peak hours so be sure to add an extra hour to get here.
Currently, a showcase of the materials used (glulam timber, Riverclack roofing, moss walls, mother-of-pearl shards, mahogany wood, rattan and tempered glass) to shape and design this terminal is available for viewing before you head to the immigration control.
There’s quite a number of tourists leaving Cebu at midnight. The immigration control is packed!
Before leaving the country, passengers are asked to pay a Terminal Fee. Some airline companies have incorporated the fees in their tickets so expect to have your tickets checked if you are exempt from paying the fee.
The International Departure immigration control of the Mactan Cebu International Airport Terminal 2.
Once done with the immigration check, passengers go through the final xray sceening before reaching their designated gates.
On the way to the boarding gates, passengers will have to pass through this maze of Duty Free shops. The wave-like ceilings resemble the waves surrounding the island, giving one a final impression of the tropical life they’ll be missing once they leave Cebu.
From wine and spirits, cosmetics, confectionery, and more, surely there’s something worth buying on those shops.
Momento by Duty Free also offers passengers Cebuano delicacies, apparel, accessories and other shopping items.
Different souvenir items are sold inside the Mactan Cebu International Airport. If you forget to buy something for your family and friends, you can always do your last minute shopping here with the extensive choices of items at the Momento shop.
The presence of visible signage is helpful when navigating the airport. Although this airport is not super huge, it’s still wonderful to see these signs.
Who says airport toilets need to be basic and boring? At the MCIA Terminal 2, live moss are used to liven up the area. The use of the live moss helps stabilize humidity and improve the air quality inside the toilet section.
Drinking stations are accessible too so bring empty water bottles and just refill them. There is also a clinic at the Departure hall before you enter the immigration control.
What amazes me in this new airport is the presence of a prayer room. I have not noticed this feature on some of the airports in the Philippines and this is a first for me. The prayer room at the Mactan International Airport Terminal 2 is not finished yet when we checked it out. But it comes with a section where one can wash their feet before going inside the prayer room.
More shops and stalls can be found beside the Momento shop.
Refreshments are available too. Just take your pick among those – sodas, beers, energy drinks, juices, milk or plain water.
The airport has this cool and funky looking Cabin lounge where you can chill and relax while waiting for your flight.
Need a drink while waiting for your flight? The Cabin island bar is at your disposal.
For complete relaxation, a spa service is present to help passengers relax those muscles and prep up for a long flight ahead.
The high ceiling of the Mactan Cebu International Airport Terminal 2 is a breath of fresh air.
Fast food joints and restaurants are available inside. There’s Burger King, Bonchon Chicken, Asian Kitchen, The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf, and more.
The location of these restaurants are also perfect as you get to enjoy your meals while looking at the airstrip.
Black chairs await passengers at each boarding gate. Looking at the size of the chairs, they look quite cramped and is suited for the average Asian build.
I’m looking forward to flying in and out of this terminal one of these days. I couldn’t wait to see what the arrival hall looks like. I’ve seen a glimpse of it from the outside and it doesn’t look quite impressive as what I’ve seen of photos from the inside.
The Mactan Cebu International Airport Terminal 2 is not completely finished. There’s still lots of things to be done. I just hope they add more seats at each boarding gate because I find it lacking in seats. But I’m quite positive that this airport will be a head-turner for travellers all over once it’s completely finished.
In the meantime, when visiting the Philippines, consider flying in and out of Cebu as this city is well connected to the major hubs in the country, especially in the central and southern provinces.
They say that the Mactan-Cebu International Airport Terminal 2 is very Instagrammable so be sure to have a souvenir shot or two while you’re there too.