Sup­port for 3rd air­line to ply Ba­colod-silay Air­port snow­balls

Sun Star Bacolod - - Top Stories -

MORE of­fi­cials have ex­pressed sup­port for the re­quest of Mayor Eve­lio Leonar­dia to al­low the en­try of a third air­line at the Ba­colod-silay Air­port in a bid to re­duce the air­fare rates here.

The Ba­colod mayor said in a state­ment over the week­end that his re­quest for low-cost car­rier Ai­ra­sia to serve the Ba­colod route has re­ceived sup­port from the Civil Aero­nau­tics Board (CAB) as well as top of­fi­cials of the Depart­ment of Trans­porta­tion (DOTR) and Depart­ment of Fi­nance (DOF).

“In the in­ter­est of more com­pe­ti­tion and bet­ter pas­sen­ger op­tions, the CAB fully sup­ports the in­ten­tion of Ai­ra­sia to en­ter the Ba­colod mar­ket,” Leonar­dia quoted Tu­gade as say­ing in the DOTR chief’s state­ment of as­sur­ance to Ai­ra­sia vice chair­man Mi­kee Romero.

Cur­rently, only flag car­rier Philip­pine Air­lines and bud­get air­line Cebu Pa­cific serve the Ba­colod­si­lay Air­port route.

Fre­quent fly­ers from Ne­gros Oc­ci­den­tal to Manila have noted the much higher air­fare charges in Ba­colod com­pared to that in neigh­bor­ing cities of Iloilo and Cebu.

Leonar­dia said Fi­nance Sec­re­tary Carlos Dominguez III has en­dorsed to Tu­gade the plan of Romero.

The mayor added that Romero, who is also the party-list rep­re­sen­ta­tive of 1-Pac­man, in­formed him that they ex­pect to en­ter the Ba­colod mar­ket about a month af­ter com­plet­ing the CAB pro­ce­dures.

“I have asked (Rep. Romero) some time ago for the bud­get air­line to fly to Ba­colod,” said Leonar­dia, who was the se­nior vice chair of the House com­mit­tee on trans­porta­tion from 2013-2016.

He added that he met with Romero in Manila a

few days ago and re­minded him again about the plan, and he was as­sured by the law­maker that Ai­ra­sia would put Ba­colod-silay Air­port among their “top pri­or­ity ad­di­tional routes”.

“Con­gress­man Romero and I are in con­stant com­mu­ni­ca­tions these days to en­sure the en­try of an­other air­line. When a third air­line comes in, we should ex­pect lower air­fares for our lo­cal rid­ing pub­lic,” Leonar­dia said.

Last week, a lo­cal news­pa­per here re­ported that Sen. Juan Miguel Zu­biri, Ba­colod City Lone District Rep. Greg Gasa­taya, and Ne­gros Oc­ci­den­tal Third District Rep. Al­fredo Ben­itez have joined the call to re­duce the air­fare rates here.

Ben­itez’s con­gres­sional district in­cludes Silay City, where the air­port is lo­cated./pr

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