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All international flights in and out of Manila use one of the three main terminals (Terminal 1, Terminal 2, Terminal 3) of Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Manila's south, while many domestic flights use a fourth, domestic, terminal (Terminal 4).
The four terminals share runways, but they are not particularly close to each other, so pay very close attention to which terminal you are flying into and out of; if you go to the wrong terminal it could take you 30 minutes to correct your mistake and you could miss your flight.
‘Airport Loop’ shuttle buses and vans (P20, 7am to 10pm) link the four terminals, but it's slow and sporadic, so take a taxi if you're in a hurry.
Note that several Asian discount carriers fly to Clark International Airport in the Clark Special Economic Zones, a two-hour drive north of Manila.
As there are no direct public transport routes from either of the four terminals to Malate or Makati, bite the bullet and take a taxi, especially if you have a bit of luggage. The airport is quite close to the city and, barring traffic, you can get to Malate or Makati by taxi in 20 minutes. Uber is also a good option from the airport.
You have three options for taxis: first are white prepaid ‘coupon’ taxis that charge set rates of P600 to P700 to Malate or Makati. These will actively solicit you the minute you step outside the arrivals hall.
Feel free to ignore them for the second option: yellow airport metered taxis, which have a flagfall of P70 (regular metered taxis on the street have a P40 flagfall). Your total bill to Malate should be about P200, closer to P250 if you're travelling to Makati. To find the yellow cab rank at the three main terminals, walk straight and then to the right.
The third option is regular metered taxis. There is a rank of these at Terminal 4, but at the other three terminals you must walk up to departures to find one (relatively easy). These can be preferable when the lines for the yellow metered cabs are very long (common). They also save you P50 to P80 to Makati or Malate.
The 'Airport Loop' shuttle bus takes you to Pasay Rotunda in Baclaran (P20, every 20 minutes), from where you can find onward public transportation (taxi, jeepney or MRT/LRT). At the three main terminals, walk straight and then to the right for Airport Loop buses.
Departure taxes – P750 for international flights and P200 for domestic flights – are wrapped into ticket prices, so you should not have to pay anything when flying out of NAIA.
Manila is well connected to the world via international carriers and the two main national carriers (Philippine Airlines and Cebu Pacific).
For domestic flights Philippine Airlines, Cebu Pacific and Air Asia are the main airlines and serve the key provincial centres from Manila. Newish player Skyjet has good rates on a few useful routes, while rapidly expanding Air Juan runs tiny sea and/or wheeled planes on a few niche routes. Air Swift monopolises the Manila–El Nido route.
One-way domestic flights cost P1000 to P3500 (including taxes) on most routes, provided you book in advance. Flight times range from 45 minutes for short hops such as Manila to Caticlan, to 1½ hours for flights from Manila to southern Mindanao.
The following airlines fly domestically in and out of Manila. All have ticket offices at their terminal of departure or around town.
Air Juan Daily seaplanes to Puerto Galera (P5500, 20 minutes) at 7.10am, hopping to Boracay on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.
Air Swift Serves El Nido from its own separate terminal near Terminal 4.
AirAsia Flights to Caticlan (for Boracay), Cebu, Davao, Kalibo, Puerto Princesa, Tacloban and Tagbilaran.
Cebu Pacific Primary domestic budget carrier with dozens of routes out of Manila.
Philippine Airlines Flagship carrier with scores of domestic routes.
Skyjet Serves Batanes, Coron, Caticlan and Siargao.