July 07, 2019 at 10:30 pm
Darwin G. Amojelar
The Civil Aeronautics Board said it is studying to lift the suspension order on new and additional flights to Kalibo and Caticlan amid opposition from the hotel owners association.
“Its under review. We will come up something within the month,” Carmelo Arcilla, executive director of CAB, said.
“The moratorium is only temporary,” he added.
Arcilla said the agency is set to meet with the hotel owners association and other stakeholders this month to address the issue on the moratorium on new and additional flights to Boracay.
The Philippine Hotel Owners Association Inc. earlier urged the CAB and the Department of Tourism to recall the order suspending new and additional flights to Kalibo and Caticlan.
“The suspension of the new flights effective immediately came as a surprise in the midst of the approaching low season of the island. It was likewise unexpected as the resorts had already confirmed bookings,” PHOAI said.
“Needless to say that this cancellation amounts to big losses for the island hotels,” it added.
PHOAI president Arthur Lopez the suspension of the flights must be lifted pending a thorough study of the directive.
The CAB said in a June 10 resolution that the suspension order was meant to keep tourist flows in check.
President Rodrigo Durtere earlier issued a directive that only 6,405 tourists can enter the island of Boracay daily to sustain environmental and other gains achieved during the island’s six-month closure for its rehabilitation.
PHOAI urged the Department of Tourism and CAB to study more closely the annual schedules of carriers and flights, considering the trends of the influx of visitors.
“This would allow them to promote and inform charter carriers and hotels of the inclusive periods they could still allow for additional flights,” the association said.
Since the reopening of Boracay in October 2018, tourist arrivals have slowly crept up past the 6,405-daily tourist arrival limit, especially in April.