Mayor bullish about return of air travel in Baguio City
Mayor Benjamin Magalong expressed optimism on the success of the Baguio-Cebu-Baguio regular flight venture of the Philippine Airlines, which will start on Dec. 16.
“We are really enthusiastic about the return of air travel in our city because it will help enhance our tourism industry and will create opportunities that will benefit other sectors as well,” the mayor said.
The mayor thanked the PAL management for fulfilling Chair Lucio Tan’s commitment to resurrect Baguio’s air travel industry despite the odds.
PAL officials led by PAL Express Officer-in-Charge Rabbi Vincent Ang, PAL Senior Vice President and General Counsel Carlos Luis Fernandez, and PAL VP on Sales Salvador Britanico Jr. were in the city last Dec. 3 to officially announce the awaited inaugural flight on Dec. 16.
They thanked the city under Magalong for the “chance to serve the people of Baguio City once again, this time with new connectivity to Cebu that links two of the Philippines’ key tourist and business destinations.”
PAL officials said the venture was subjected to stringent operational and commercial feasibility studies to ensure safe and reliable operations.
They, along with the Department of Tourism Regional Director Jovita Ganongan and Baguio Tourism Council President Gladys Vergara shared the mayor’s optimism on the benefits and opportunities that will emanate from air linking Baguio to its fellow creative city Cebu and the rest of the Visayas.
Ang said the two-hour direct flight will ease the burden of hopping on multiple connecting trips via both land and air and will allow travelers from Northern Luzon to have extra time to enjoy the scenic tourist destinations not only in Cebu but also in other tourist hubs in Visayas and Mindanao such as Iloilo, Bacolod, Davao City, Boracay, Siargao, and Cagayan de Oro City.
“We are optimistic that this new service will help the ongoing revival of domestic tourism, as the peak holiday season fast approaches,” Ang added.
PAL successfully conducted a test flight at the Loakan Airport last Nov. 28 using the Bombardier Q400 aircraft with expert pilots Capt. Rommel Tyron Goniabo and Capt. Edward Tumbaga in command.
For its full operation, PAL will use Q-400 aircrafts with a maximum capacity of 85 passengers with four flights per week.
The Baguio-Cebu-Baguio flight schedule is: PR 2230 Cebu-Baguio (Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday), departing Mactan, Cebu at 08:50 a.m. and arriving at Baguio Loakan Airport at 10:50 a.m. and PR 2231 Baguio-Cebu (Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday), departing Baguio at 11:10 a.m. and arriving in Cebu at 1 p.m. – Aileen P. Refuerzo