‘Positive impact’ of PAL flights in San Vicente seen
Local government officials of San Vicente town are optimistic that their new airport is “a change-maker” that will post huge positive impacts” in the future of their tourism industry. This after the maiden flight of the Philippine Airlines (PAL) Express arrived at the San Vicente Airport (SVA) on October 28. Town administrator James Inawasan said PAL’s inaugural flight from Clark International Airport (CIA), Pampanga, signals a new era in their tourism industry now that it is accessible to travelers that will come from Luzon. “This will dramatically change the history of San Vicente. A lot of people is waiting for the opening and the start of commercial operations which will make our town reachable now to travelers. Finally, this is happening,” he said. Inawasan said the SVA will make substantial contributions to the overall economy of their town because it has made transportation system better. He said transportation is an integral part of the tourism industry because it can link people to various tourist attractions anywhere in the world. “There is a general outlook that tourism expands more when there are better transport systems to serve the people and bring them to places they have never seen before,” he added. In July this year, he said the trend in visitor arrivals in San Vicente is improving, growing by around 41 percent from January to June this year compared to the same period in 2017. Records of the town showed that tourist arrivals in the municipality grew from 15,974 last year to 22,518 in 2018 for the period. Cornelio Tejero Jr., Puerto Princesa PAL Express station manager said it is their goal to support the economic development of areas in the country that are emerging as tourism destinations in the Philippines. “Philippine Airlines’ goal is to help the economic development of San Vicente starting now. On this day, we start- ed the initiative and we will help advertise Long Beach and Port Barton,” he said. Tejero said PAL is still studying the possibility of putting the said route based on the actual performance of the CIA to the SVA. This was confirmed by Inawasan who said it would be a welcome development in the near future. “Wala pang official talk kung magkakaroon ng San Vicente to Cebu pero I think that will happen soon because definitely, strategic point ang Cebu going to other parts of the country,” he said. The PAL Express maiden flight landed at the SVA from the CIA in Pampanga at 8:15 a.m. loaded with 86 visitors. Inawasan said they have posted 20 transport groups to service the passengers who wish to also go to Port Barton, and the neighboring town of El Nido. Engr. Percy Malonesio, Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) area manager for Puerto Princesa City International Airport (PPCIA), said the inaugural flight is a good start for other airline companies that might also launch trips to San Vicente. “It is a good start, ito ngayong nakikita natin ay success na ang ibig sabihin kung maganda ang acceptance, at lahat ng terms of safety and security ay nandoon ay magiging maayos. It is a good start para sa future ng mga incoming flights,” Malonesio said.