Cebu Pacific to fly directly to Batanes

MANILA, Philippines – Cebu Pacific Air will start operating direct commercial flights between Manila and Batanes on March 25 this year.

In time for summer travel season, the listed Gokongwei-led airline said on Monday, February 12, that its subsidiary Cebgo will fly once daily between Manila and Basco, Batanes starting March 25, 2018 until October 27, 2018.

Cebu Pacific said Batanes emerged as the "most requested destination in a crowdsourcing campaign" that it launched in 2017.

Its inaugural flight will leave the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 4 on March 25 at 6:20 am, and will return on the same day from Batanes, departing at 9:15 am.

Cebu Pacific said Cebgo will use its ATR aircraft for the Batanes route. (READ: Heading to the US for a weekend vacation? It's possible!)

"What makes this route more special is that netizens were actively engaged in the selection of our new destination – our customers were part of the process," said Alexander Lao, Cebgo president and chief executive officer.

Cebu Pacific will hold an introductory all-in seat sale for Manila-Batanes flights from Monday to Tuesday, February 12 to 13, or until seats last.

For the summer peak season or from March 25 to May 31 this year, Cebu Pacific's special introductory fare for the Manila-Batanes route is at P2,699.

From June 1 to October 27 this year, the special introductory fare for the Manila-Batanes route is at P2,399.

The year-round fare is around P4,241, said Cebu Pacific.

Philippine Airlines (PAL) also operates flights from Manila to Batanes twice daily. 

Other than Batanes, Cebu Pacific said popular choices in its crowdsourcing campaign included Daet in Camarines Norte, Mati in Davao Oriental, Bantayan Island in Cebu, San Vicente in Palawan, and Siquijor.

The top picks were then assessed in terms of readiness for commercial flights, with criteria that included airport infrastructure, safety and security processes, and passenger facilities.

Cebu Pacific flies to 37 domestic and 25 international destinations.

The budget airline operates out of 7 hubs in the Philippines: Manila, Clark, Cebu, Davao, Cagayan de Oro, Kalibo, and Iloilo. –