Korea-Tagbilaran direct flights eyed

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Korea-Tagbilaran direct flights eyed

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If things push through as planned, including some minor infrastructure work at the Tagbilaran City Airport, Philippine Airlines assured Gov. Edgar Chatto direct flights from Korea to Tagbilaran in the first quarter of next year.

In a meeting with Cong. Rene Relampagos, PAL executives, and Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP-Bohol) after the commemorative program for Pres. Carlos P. Garcia Day, PAL bared it is fast-tracking its systems for the international flights from Korea.

PAL said they are preparing a timetable as soon as an approval is acquired for a ramp towards the second floor of the terminal building and the reinforcement of the canopy in the arrival area.

Immigration, customs, and quarantine services will utilize a space in the current arrival area of the airport, they said. They also intend to make use of mobile kiosks so that operations for the domestic and Korea flights will be smooth and seamless.

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PAL execs said they did a walk-through of operations before meeting with the governor and the congressman.

Chartered flights using 156-seater PAL Airbus 320 from Incheon and Busan, South Korea are scheduled to start initial trips. PAL is looking at 10 scheduled flights in the first two months of operations.

With completion of the New Bohol Airport still in March 2018, the need to make use of the Tagbilaran Airport with initial chartered flights became a priority.

Meanwhile, Gov. Edgar Chatto committed to seek CAAP’s word on agreement to lift the one plane policy at the airport as the emergency ramp has been completed.

The tow truck and tow bar have also been made available and training for which slated this month, as reported by Bohol Chamber of Commerce and Industry President Engr. Albert Uy during the Provincial Development Council Executive Committee meeting last Thursday.

Influx of tourists in Bohol has been increasing in the past 3 years.

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According to National Economic Development Authority regional director Efren Carreon, guest speaker at the 120th birth anniversary celebration for Pres. Carlos Polestico Garcia, Bohol registered a 32% increase in tourist arrivals.

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Data revealed by Carreon posted 389,000 tourist arrivals in 2013, growing to 455,000 in 2014, and up to 602,000 in 2015.

With the Korea flights at the city airport beginning next year and the completion of the new airport in 2018, Bohol is poised to welcome up to a million tourists. (EDCOM)

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