PAL set to launch new int’l routes this year
FLAG-CARRIER Philippine Airlines will be launching flights to more international destinations this year as new aircrafts will be delivered in the coming months.
“More routes will open as we take delivery of new airplanes,” Dr. Jaime J. Bautista, Philippine Airlines president and chief operating officer, said during a recent press briefing at Marco Polo Hotel Davao.
This year the airline will accept the delivery of five additional Next Generation Bombardier Q400s, six new Airbus A321neos, and the Airbus A350-900.
“The luxurious Airbus A350-900 joins our fleet in June, allowing us to fly the longest commercial flight in Philippine history from Manila nonstop to New York City, flying over the North Polar region of the world,” Bautista said.
The nonstop flight to New York (John F. Kennedy Airport), is expected to start on October 28, 2018.
He said once they receive the new A321neos, this may be utilized for nonstop flights from Manila to Mumbai (Bombay), which is expected to start sometime in the last quarter of this year.
Also targetted to be launched by the last quarter is Manila to Sapporo (Chitose), Japan.
In 2019, the airlines is also set to accept the delivery of two Next Generation Q400s, two A350s, and two A321neos.
With the A350s and A321neos, Bautista said they are looking into more
THE idea of owning an island even just for a day is something most tourists would want to experience.
Making this dream possible for almost 20 years now is Island Buenavista in international destinations next year.
For the A350, they are looking at new routes to Europe and to other US cities like Chicago and Seattle.
While for the A321neos, they are looking into developing viable nonstop flights to Australian destinations such as Perth and Brisbane.
As for the Next Generation Bombardier Q400s, Barangay Balet, Island Garden City of Samal.
This high-end island resort caters to tourists, foreign and local, who is looking for exclusive island living experience. the aircraft has allowed the airline to open up new domestic routes from its different hubs.
“The Next-Generation Bombardier Q400 turboprop that is powering our domestic hub expansion to island resorts,” Bautista said.
Last March 25, the airline opened its four weekly Davao-Siargao flights.
“We give a new dimension to the words privacy and exclusivity. It is really about owning an island for your booking period, an exclusive use of the island. Our regular customers for overnight stay are Chinese tourists, who are mostly from Beijing and Xiamen, some of them stay for two nights,” Brenda Ocampo, Director of Sales and Marketing of Island Buenavista, said.
An overnight stay in the island costs P115,000 for 10 persons (additional P6,000 per person in excess). For bigger groups, the island resort can accommodate up to 30 persons at a time.
“We accept one booking at a time. We are not strict in terms of check in time and check out time. They can come in as early as 8:00 a.m. and check out by 3:00 p.m.,” she said.
Ocampo assured guests that they have well-trained and friendly butlers who will serve their guests tailored fit to their needs.
Most of the island-resort staffs are the locals of Samal, some are with the company for 20 years.
The island resort has one family villa, two island suites, six cabanas and an executive suite.
To experience more of the island, Ocampo said they can set up dinner by the beach with bonfire, breakfast by the pool, merienda by the sea, fire dancing, videoke, crab catching, snorkelling in between small and big Ligid Island, kayaking and scuba diving.
The eight-hectare island (during low tide, fourhectare on high tide) is a remarkable diving destination because it is a marine sanctuary.
On the island-resort occupancy, Ocampo said there is really a market for exclusive island living.
For instance, she said, they always have guests monthly even on lean season.
She added that they get more overnight stay bookings than day tour bookings at P44,000 good for ten persons.
Since summer has officially started, the island resort offers anew its summer promo at P2,800 per person every Saturdays of April and May this year.
For a shared island use, guests can enjoy a lunch buffet prepared by the executive chef of Eden Nature Park, use of Island Buenavista’s amenities and facilities like pool and the Pavilion.
Guests can also explore the island through kayaking and witness the spot’s rich marine diversity by snorkeling.
For those who avail the summer day tour, jump off area is at Pirata Bar, Waterfront Insular Hotel Davao for the boat transfer at around 7:30 a.m.
The travel time from Davao City to the island is approximately one hour. Aisland around 3:00 p.m.
“We have Singaporean visitors who will arrive on Friday in Davao City, then they will be going to the Island Buenavista on Saturday and back home the day after. Basically, they just come here in the Philippines for the island, it is kind of overwhelming to know that,” Ocampo shared.
On safety and security To ensure safety of the island visitors, lifeguards are strategically positioned around the island for the guests’ safe swimming.
Also, police and security forces will be safeguarding the area during the guests’ stay.
“Safety and security for our guests and employees is our paramount concern that is why we beef up our security. Aside from our internal security inside the resort, we also tap Task Force Samal for the security especially for overnight stay. They will be roving for 24 hours,” she said.