Suspension of PAL’s Baguio-Cebu route looms

Suspension of PAL’s Baguio-Cebu route looms

/ 05:04 AM June 01, 2024

Suspension of PAL’s Baguio-Cebu route looms

AIR CONNECTION Philippine Airlines in December 2022 started flights connecting the cities of Baguio and Cebu to open new travel and trade relations between the two urban centers. —KRISTINE VALERIE DAMIAN

BAGUIO CITY—Flag carrier Philippine Airlines (PAL) is preparing to suspend its 17-month experimental Baguio-Cebu-Baguio route during the monsoon season, but that should not affect visitor numbers in the summer capital, according to tourism officials here.

“PAL told us and the mayor (Benjamin Magalong) way earlier, so we have been expecting [the suspension],” Aloysius Mapalo, city tourism officer, told the Inquirer on Friday.


City Administrator Bonifacio dela Peña made the same announcement during a May 16 briefing, but said it would be temporary and could resume once the rainy season ends.


However, recent online reports surfaced saying flights that provide a direct passenger and cargo connection between Baguio and the Visayas would be shut down by July 1.

No such announcements have been made so far on the official PAL websites and social media accounts.

Staging area

Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama and 67 other passengers from Cebu flew to Baguio’s Loakan Airport in a PAL turboprop airplane for the inaugural Dec. 16, 2022 voyage to officially launch the direct flights and to bring to life an airport that had not seen commercial activity since 2012.

While undergoing incremental rehabilitation and modernization programs by transport agencies, Loakan has served as a staging area for emergency operations and has been occupied by military aircraft operated by the Philippine Air Force.

Jovita Ganongan, Department of Tourism Cordillera director, earlier said the flights were designed to open not just travel access but also potential markets for vegetables and rice grown in the region, as well as mangoes, durian and processed goods produced in the Visayas and Mindanao.

“The PAL flights actually bring in a small percentage of our total number of visitors, but [Cebu travel] is a niche market we are hoping to increase,” Mapalo said.


“During its operations here, we saw a good number of visitors from the Viasayas and even foreigners who entered the country via the Mactan-Cebu International Airport,” he said.

Mapalo estimated that more than 500,000 tourists had visited Baguio as of May, based on the city’s annual tourism average of 1.5 million.

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.

At an April 2 tourism summit, Leonard Bryan Sansolis, who heads PAL’s Philippines Sales division, said they flew a total of 12,576 Baguio and Cebu passengers, and had extended its promotions to Mindanao.

TAGS: Baguio, Philippine Airlines

© Copyright 1997-2024 | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.