BAGUIO CITY – It’s all systems go for the return of regular flights to and from the Loakan airport here a s the flag carrier Philippine Air Lines (PAL) is all set to open its new route between Baguio City and Cebu City and vice versa starting December 16, 2022.
PAL president Rabbi Vincent Ang said that the resumption of regular flights to and from the Loakan Airport will initially start with 4 flights per week, the pioneer PAL Express service links the City of Pines with the commercial heart of the Visayas region, Cebu City, for the first time after more than 10 years of having no regular flights to and from the city.
“We are very happy to have this 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 destination, back to the first-ever destination that PAL has served nearly eighty two years ago,” PAL president and chief operating officer Capt. Stanley K. Ng stressed.
He pointed out that this is a comeback for PAL as the airline company began operations nearly 82 years ago when PAL’s first commercial landing took place in the country’s undisputed Summer Capital, the dawn of the country’s’ age of aviation.
Ang claimed that the 2-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, Boracay 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.
Heralding the re-opening of the Loakan Airport to commercial operations, PAL conducted a successful test flight to and from Loakan Airport last Monday under the close supervision of the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP), using a De Havilland Dash 8 series 400 next generation aircraft. The Dash 8 high performance turboprop will be PAL’s aircraft for the Cebu-Baguio services, offering faster speed and jet-like comfort in a quitter cabin.
The PAL Express official emphasized that the recent success of the test flight assures the airline company that it will now be all systems go for its comeback to the city.
The combined resolve of the CAAP and the local government along with PAL management and the Department of Tourism (DoT) had helped make the new Baguio-Cebu route a reality, Ang said.
From December 16, 2022, PAL Express will operate 4 weekly Cebu-Baguio-Cebu flights with convenient morning departures. The said flights will be leaving the Mactan Cebu International Airport at around 8:50 am on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays while the Baguio-Cebu flights will be leaving the Loakan Airport at around 11:10 am on the same days and will be arriving in Cebu at around 1 pm.
Ang stipulated that PAL will work with the tourism department and travel partners to aggressively promote Baguio as a prime tourist and business gateway, touting the Summer Capital’s year-round cool climate and breath-taking mountain location and its popular tourist spots.
Baguio also plays host to the Baguio City Economic Zone Authority where various multinational firms in the electronics, technology, business process outsourcing (BPO) and clothing industries are located.
Pal’s first flight as a newly incorporated airline was a Manila-Baguio-Manila service flown out of Manila’s Neilson airport on March 15, 1941. The Pal Beechcraft Model 18 carried 5 passengers to Baguio City, ushering in the dawn of the aviation age for the country and Asia.
“We are thankful for the opportunity to connect Baguio by air again. We will continuously work with the local government and the aviation authorities to further improve passengers’ experience when flying to and from the Loakan airport,” Ng added.
Earlier, PAL also inaugurated the Cebu-Cotabato-Cebu route last December 1, 2022 as part of the flag carriers’ concerted expansion of its Cebu hub network.
Bangkok, Thailand and Borrongan, Eastern Samar will also be PAL’s new destinations to be served from the Mactan Cebu International Airport with the Cebu-Bangkok flight to operate on December 9, 2022 and the maiden Cebu-Borongan flight to operate on December 19, 2022
Ang encouraged passengers to check the website of their arrival point for the latest travel requirements and other important information.