Flag carrier Philippine Airlines (PAL) said it is all set for its maiden flight from Cebu City to the Borongan City Airport on December 19, after it recently signed a memorandum of agreement with the city government.
“The entire Philippine Airlines family shares the excitement of the people of Eastern Samar over the new PAL service between Cebu and Borongan,” Captain Stanley Ng, PAL president and chief operating officer, said.
PAL will operate Cebu-Borongan flights twice a week, every Mondays and Fridays.
According to Ng, PAL is looking forward to welcoming more business and leisure travelers from around the country and the world to Borongan “so that they may discover spectacular surfing haven and the home of vast natural treasures.”
Borongan Mayor Jose Ivan Dayan Agda said “we are very happy with this partnership. With these direct flights, it will be more convenient for Boronganons to travel to and from our beloved city.”
“Many travelers have long lamented how inconvenient it is to travel to our city. Hopefully, these flights will create more business and tourism opportunities for Borongan,” Agda said.
Currently, travelers to the capital of Eastern Samar province have to land at the DZR Airport in Tacloban City, then they would travel 5 hours to 6 hours by land to reach Borongan.
The other option is to travel by land from Manila, which takes around two days.
“One of the main reasons why many of our fellow Boronganons who have been living elsewhere do not come and visit our city is because of the travel required to go here,” Rupert Ambil, city information officer-in-charge and head of Borongan City Flight Operations said.
“With these new flights, we want to make it convenient for Boronganons to come home. Consider this the local government’s Christmas gift to our fellow Boronganons,” he added.
The flights to Borongan will also benefit the province of Eastern Samar and nearby Northern Samar towns of Lapinig, Gamay, and Mapanas.
Ambil lauded the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) for responding immediately to their request and giving them the layout of the Borongan City Airport.
CAAP also provided x-ray machines from other airport facilities to Borongan, while the Borongan City Government “will handle the logistics and will manage the refurbishment of the airport following recommendations from flight specialists.”
This is the first time the Borongan City Airport will be used for regular commercial operations following its completion in March 2013.