PAL: More flights to other tour destinations
DAVAO CITY — The country’s flag carrier, Philippine Airlines (PAL), will increase the number of flights to alternative destinations to make up for revenue losses due to the closure of Boracay island.
Jaime Bautista, PAL president and chief operations officer, said the closure of Boracay would “really impact a lot of markets” so the airline will “increase flights to different vacation destinations throughout the country.”
“We expect the Visayas, Mindanao and Palawan to benefit as we redirect more flights from China, Korea and Taiwan to Cebu and Puerto Princesa with some traffic flowing on to Siargao, Camiguin, Coron and Butuan,” Bautista told reporters here on Thursday.
“We are doing this to convince passengers to explore tourism destinations,” he added.
Under its plan, Bautista said PAL would also give more priority to its new hubs of Davao, Cebu and Clark.
New flights, planes
Bautista said PAL is currently increasing the frequency of its Davao-Bohol flights to daily. PAL also had plans to fly more flights for its Davao-Clark route.
He said the additional flights and new routes will be serviced by additional planes, as well, such as five more next generation Bombardier Q400s and six new Airbus A321neos starting in May.
Bautista said the airline would lose 60 to 70 percent of its domestic passenger load due to the planned six-month closure of Boracay.
Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu said there had been a marked improvement in the poor quality of the waters of Boracay, which was the main cause for the island’s closure.
“The quality of water there has improved a lot,” Cimatu said in a speech during the 9th Philippine League of Local Environment and Natural Resources Officers convention here on Friday.
“(The volume of pollutants) is now 2,400 units… The standard for water quality so it can be used for swimming is 400,” he said.
But Cimatu reiterated that government work on the island would not be completed until the water quality returned to the standard level.
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