Laoag - Hongkong Express, an airline based in Hong Kong has announced indefinite suspension of twice weekly flights between Hongkong and Laoag after the Hong Kong government issued a travel ban to the country Tuesday as a direct consequence of hostage killings in Manila.
Ronal Estabillo, manager of the Laoag International Airport, said they were notified of the flight suspension Thursday. Its last flight carried Hong Kong nationals out of the country.
There was no mention of the reason behind the suspension but Estabillo was aware of a travel ban imposed by Chinese authorities on Tuesday in the aftermath of the bungled rescue attempt of the Chinese hostages and the consequent flight cancellations by its passengers.
Meanwhile, Milagros Gonzales, Ilocos Norte provincial tourism officer, said that all bookings in two major hotels in Laoag have been cancelled since Tuesday.
She said Hongkong tourists have been steadily coming to Laoag before the Manila bloodbath. At least 1,200 Hongkong nationals visit the city monthly for rest and recreation purposes. Most of the tourists visit Fort Ilocandia to play in the casino.
Gonzales adds the only other international flight from Kaoshiung, Taiwan to Laoag is expected to be cancelled as well in response to the travel ban imposed by Chinese authorities to the Philippines. Around 200 Taiwanese nationals visit the city on a monthly basis.