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