An aircraft of South Korean low-cost carrier Jeju Air arrived late Thursday morning at the Bohol Panglao International Airport (BPIA) from Incheon, South Korea, making it the first foreign airline to operate at the new P8.9-billion facility.
Jeju Air Flight 7C4407 was welcomed with a water canon salute upon its arrival at 11:28 a.m., said Camella Clenuar of the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) Bohol.
According to Clenuar, Jeju Air’s Boeing 737-800 arrived in Bohol carrying 186 passengers. It then departed for Incheon at 12:20 p.m. with 27 passengers on board.
The airline is initially scheduled to ply the Bohol-Incheon route daily, departing Incheon at 7:40 a.m. and BPIA at 12:20 p.m.
Jeju Air is currently the only airline which offers scheduled direct flights to and from an international destination.
Royal Air Philippines offers direct flights between Hong Kong and Panglao but these are chartered, Clenuar said.
So far, there are four other airlines operating at the BPIA—Cebu Pacific, Air Asia Philippines, Philippine Airlines and AirSwift.
According to Clenuar, other airlines have recently expressed intent to open flights to the BPIA including Taiwanese airline EVA Air and Platinum Skies owned by Louis “Chavit” Singson’s LCS Group of Companies.
“Naay proposal from EVA Air pero so far, mura’g nag negotiate pa ni sila, nagsige pa’g scout and as we speak now, naa diri ang kang sir Chavit,” she said on Thursday.
Platinum Skies is eyeing direct flights between Panglao and the following destinations: Cebu, Camiguin, Dumaguete, Iloilo, Kalibo, Bantayan and Siargao.