PAL Cebu to Borongan flights launched on Dec. 19

TACLOBAN CITY – The city government of Borongan, Eastern Samar and Philippine Airlines have signed a Memorandum of Agreement for flights between Cebu City and Borongan.

PHILIPPINE Airlines executives present an airplane model as token of appreciation to Borongan City officials following the signing of an agreement for flights to the capital of Eastern Samar from Cebu City. (Borongan City Information Office)

The maiden flight to Borongan will be launched on Dec. 19 and trips will be twice a week every Monday and Friday.

“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,” Borongan Mayor Jose Ivan Dayan Agda said during the MOA signing on Tuesday, Nov. 29.

At present, air passengers to the capital of Eastern Samar have to land at Tacloban Airport and then travel for five to six hours by land to reach Borongan.

Capt. Stanley Ng, president and COO of PAL, said they share the excitement of the people of Eastern Samar over the new PAL service between Cebu and Borongan.

"When we launch this service in a few weeks, we’ll work hard to promote travel between Borongan and the rest of the Philippines," he said.

The airport will be used for regular commercial operations for the first time since the road to the airport was completed in March 2013.

Initial talks for the opening of the flight route started in July.

Borongan also had to get approval from the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) to ensure that the airport is ready for commercial flights. CAAP also gave X-ray machines from other airport facilities to Borongan.

The Borongan city government will handle the logistics and will manage the refurbishment of the airport following recommendations from flight specialists.

“We consider these initial costs as an investment. These flights, we hope, will directly translate into more tourists visiting us, and businesses starting in the city. We want Borongan City to be the regional sports tourism hub of Eastern Visayas, so this is just a small step towards achieving that goal,” Agda noted.

Borongan has been positioning itself as the next major tourism hub of Eastern Visayas in recent years through sports tourism.