As chartered flights spur island hopping
By Cris Evert Lato
Cebu Daily News
September 7, 2010
TOURISTS with only a short time to visit neighboring islands of Cebu need not worry about missing the chance to experience the other islands with the availability of chartered flights around central Philippines.
Aviatour Air (Aviatour) president and chief operating officer Jemar Bahinting said this arrangement provides more flexibility for tourists, with more pesos to spare, to enjoy the different islands which can be reached through Cebu.
Aviatour is a Cebu-based aviation company which offers aerial tours, chartered flights, pilot training and aircraft sales.
“We are highlighting (this) pick-up and drop-off service, which is very convenient for tourists with less time to visit the neighboring islands of Cebu such as Bohol,” said Bahinting.
Kenneth Madrid, executive vice president for sales and marketing, said this is the company's way of further promoting the tourism potential of the Philippines.
“We want to promote day trips. Tourists don’t have to check out of their hotels in Cebu. They can take our plane in the morning, arrive in the island of their destination and roam around. In the afternoon, our plane can bring them back to Cebu,” said Madrid.
Many tourists staying in Cebu for three to four days, want to include Bohol in their stay.
Panglao Island in Bohol is a favorite destination with its white sand beaces and resorts such as Panglao Island Nature Resort and Spa and Bohol Beach Club.
Madrid said his planes can fly to most Philippine airports in the country.
At present, they are focused on central and southern routes such as Tagbilaran (Bohol), Bantayan Island (Cebu), Maasin (Southern Leyte), Camotes (Cebu), Siargao, Guiuan (Eastern Samar), Dipolog, Camiguin, Caticlan, Tacloban, Surigao and Masbate.
Rates range from P1,736 to P6,823 depending on the distance.
Madrid said the company has partnered with 15 tour operators, which are members of the Cebu Association of Tour Operators and Cebu Travel & Tour Association.
Aviatour has also established partnerships with hotels and resorts to promote flight tours and chartered flights.
“There is a big market for hartered flights. This makes the island destinations more accessible,” he said.