The Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines approved the gateway status of Bacolod-Silay Airport as a new International Airport for the Philippines after Kalibo was opened few years ago.
"This is in line with the Open Skies Policy of the Government" says Ramon S. Gutierrez, CAA Director General.
Four more airports are slated for conversion to gateway status before 2015, the deadline set by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) as international entry point into the country. The regional group is implementing the second stage of the ASEAN Open Skies Agreement.
The other airports considered for gateway status are Legaspi, Tacloban, Cagayan De Oro and Iloilo.
"Starting next year, there will already be direct flights from Seoul, Korea to the Bacolod" says the CAA Head.
Silay Mayor Jose Montelibano was delighted by the pronouncement as it announces Zest Air intention of mounting inaugural flight at the airport.
Montelibano said he hopes the international flights from Korea will be successful as it make way for to the opening of other direct flights from China.
Zest Air announced intention to fly Seoul today for a chartered flight and intend to increase frequency of charters effective January 3, 2012 until February 22, 2012.
A chartered flight from Korea will arrive at 11:30 p.m. on Wednesdays at the Bacolod-Silay Airport and depart for Korea at 12:30 a.m., on Thursdays, while another will arrive at 11:30 p.m. on Saturdays and depart at 12:30 a.m. on Sundays.
"This is truly a historic flight" says Timothy Jones Cabrero, Zest Air Bacolod Manager of the airlines inaugural flights. The airline held the distinction of being the first airline to fly internationally out of Kalibo.