Showing posts with label SkyJet. Show all posts
Showing posts with label SkyJet. Show all posts

Monday, June 8, 2015

Civil Aviation Authority Lifts SkyJet Suspension

After legal intervention and an apology from the head of SkyJet, the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines has finally lifted the ban that prevented Seair International and SkyJet Airlines from flying. 

Image Source: Wikimedia
In a statement released by the aviation regulator, it was revealed that corrective actions have already been taken by both carriers. According to William Hotchkiss, Director General of the Civil Aviation Authority, the regulator has also evaluated plans being pursued by the carrier, adding that both carriers will continue to be monitored on a regular basis.

Thousands of passengers were stranded as a result of the grounding of SkyJet's fleet on May 15. The Civil Aviation Authority cited findings of a European Union Safety Assessment team during an inspection from April 16 to 24 as cause for the grounding.

A P20 million lawsuit was filed against the Civil Aviation Authority for damages resulting from the grounding, which SkyJet officials referred to as "arbitrary." Company executives argued that the carrier was not offered due process prior to the suspension.

However, the lawsuit was later withdrawn after the carrier promised to follow and implement recommendations made by the European Union team. In addition, SkyJet's President, Dino Chua, issued a letter of apology to the aviation regulator for the inconvenience caused. In the letter, Chua stated that SkyJet would take, "comprehensive enhanced actions relative to the flight data monitoring, quality assurance, airworthiness, and maintenance control."

Thursday, June 4, 2015

SkyJet Returns to Skies Following Court Injunction

SkyJet Airlines resumed its flights last week, following a recent suspension, after it obtained a twenty day restraining order overturning the suspension issued by the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines.
Image Source: SkyJet
In a statement released by the Pasay Regional Trial Court, Judge Pedro Gutierrez concluded that the actions of the Civil Aviation Authority were premature. "It is very clear that the May 15 suspension order was irregular, not valid and issued without due process of law. The suspension order was premature and was done without investigation and proper inspection of the aircraft of the plaintiff. Hence, violative of constitutional and economic rights of plaintiff and causing damages to the airline company," stated the court. 

According to SkyJet President Dino Reyes Chua, the decision by the court was a relief after the suspension order created a "nightmare" for the small independent carrier. "We really felt that our constitutional and economic rights were violated," said Chua. "We are doing this for the whole aviation industry so that no other independent airline operator could suffer these losses in the future. This is truly a nightmare for our company and to our thousands of affected passengers."

SkyJet officials revealed that nearly 3,000 passengers have been affected by the suspension. With the restraining order in place from the Pasay Regional  Trial Court, SkyJet is now able to continue operating while the court case continues. 

The carrier is also filing a P20 million damages claim against the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines and its officials for the losses incurred as a result of the suspension order. CAAP issued the notice of suspension on May 18 after SkyJet failed the aviation safety assessment conducted by the European Union Aviation Safety Team last month. 

According to the European assessment, there were eight safety concerns regarding SkyJet's flight operations including flight data monitoring, maintenance control, airworthiness, and quality assurance. The Civil Aviation Authority stated that the suspension may be lifted only "upon full compliance with the corrective actions undertaken to mitigate the safety concerns raised."

The Civil Aviation Authority responded to the court decision with a statement of its own indicating that safety remains the priority for the national aviation regulator. "For CAAP, the safety of passengers and our airports and airspace is paramount," said the regulator. "The rules are simple."

SkyJet says that the suspension order cited an intensive investigation. However, the Civil Aviation Authority failed to produce any investigative report. Airline officials believe that the suspension, which stranded thousands of passengers, was "abrupt and illegal" and that due process was not followed citing that no proper investigation was conducted. According to reports, the carrier attempted to reach out to the Civil Aviation Authority to discuss the suspension but failed, resulting in the decision to seek relief from the appropriate court. 

The carrier cited Section 71 of Republic Act 9497, which clearly states that, "Any suspension or revocation of Airline Operator's Certificate must be done with due process and the operator must be given a chance to reply." Under Section 71, carriers are also able to obtain injunctive relief from the proper court of jurisdiction as SkyJet did in this instance. However, the relief is too little and too late for the thousands of affected passengers.

"Aside from millions of losses that we are suffering, the most sad part here is the inconvenience of the almost 3,000 affected passengers stranded in the island destinations due to this illegal suspension," said Captain Ted Fojas, SkyJet COO. "The airline seats serving our island tourist destinations are not enough. That's why even if we already refunded the money to our passengers, they still have to cancel their trip because all of the other flights are fully booked by now considering it's summer peak season and they can no longer be accommodated by any other carrier."

Flights resumed on May 24 following the suspension. SkyJet, which brands itself as Manila's Boutique Airline, flies regularly to the popular tourist destinations of Batanes, Busuanga, and Boracay. It also operates charter services to the resort destination of Balesin Island. 

The carrier, which is owned by Solar Group, specialises in flights to island destinations with short runways that are not accessible with larger aircraft. The shorter runways limit the number of aircraft that can access the airport. This provides SkyJet with a competitive advantage at airports such as Caticlan, where it provides the fastest flights from Manila being the only jet operator at the airport. 

SkyJet currently operates a fleet of one British Aerospace BAE-146 aircraft and one Dornier 328.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

SkyJet and SEAir International Forced to Suspend Operations

The Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines has suspended the operations of Philippine boutique leisure carriers SkyJet Airlines and South East Asian Airlines due to safety concerns. The suspension of both carriers' Air Operator Certificates took immediate effect on May 18.

magnum air
Copyright Photo: Adrian Smith/PPSG
An Air Operator Certificate enables an aircraft operator to conduct operations on a charter basis or for regular public transportation purposes among others. According to the national aviation regulator, various safety concerns were observed at both airlines, which resulted in the order to suspend operations immediately. 

At SEAIR International Incorporated, which operates as South East Asian Airlines, the Civil Aviation Authority highlighted issues with the carrier's flight safety program, rules on accident prevention, and its management structure. At Magnum Air, which operates as SkyJet, concerns were raised regarding flight data monitoring, maintenance control, and quality assurance pertaining to airworthiness. 

In citing its observations, the Civil Aviation Authority referenced a report that was published by the European Union Assessment Team, which visited the Philippines last month to observe the safety guidelines and procedures in place at a number of local carriers. The European Assessment Team was in the Philippines conducting an audit from April 16 to 24.

seair international
Copyright Photo: Angelo Agcamaran/PPSG
The Civil Aviation Authority issued letters on May 15 to Teodoro Fojas of SkyJet and Avelino Zapanta of South East Asian Airlines, signed by Director General William Hotchkiss, requesting that the safety concerns be corrected immediately. The suspension will remain in place until both carriers have complied with the safety regulations imposed by the national regulator under the Philippine Civil Aviation Regulations.

South East Asian Airlines currently operates flights from Manila to Basco, Caticlan, and Romblon. SkyJet operates flights from Manila to Basco and Coron. Prior to the suspension, SkyJet was planning to launch four weekly flights between Manila and Caticlan beginning on May 21. The flights would have been the fastest flights to Boracay from the Philippine capital operated by an 80-seat British Aerospace Bae 146-100 aircraft. 

In March, SkyJet was sold to the Solar Group media conglomerate after the Civil Aeronautics Board approved the transfer of ownership to Thunder Air Aviation. Ronald Tieng is the Chairman of SkyJet Airlines, while Dino Chua is President, and Ted Fojas is Chief Operating Officer. 

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

SkyJet Abruptly Cancels Taiwan Flights

Taiwan media are reporting that SkyJet Airlines, the country's boutique leisure airline, have cancelled all of their flights between Kalibo and Taiwan after just launching them one week earlier. 

Copyright Photo: Yung Chen Sung/Flickr
According to United Daily News, a Chinese media outlet, the abrupt cancellation of flights has left nearly 200 Taiwanese tourists from four tour groups stranded on the resort island of Boracay. SkyJet had been contracted to offer thirteen charter flights between August 15 and August 31 between Kalibo International Airport and Taipei Taoyuan International Airport in Taiwan. 

On August 15, the day of its inaugural flight, the aircraft suffered a malfunction after the pilot detected abnormalities and the flight was cancelled after passengers were already delayed for several hours. Later in the week, three more flight delays occurred and all of them were cancelled due to what the carrier described as "aircraft mechanical malfunction."

SkyJet Airlines currently operates two aircraft, a British Aerospace Bae-146 aircraft and a Dornier 328. It remains unclear of the nature of the mechanical malfunctions of the Bae-146 aircraft and if it will eventually be returned to service. With its poor first impression operating on the international scene, SkyJet will need to go to great lengths to reassure passengers and tour operators of its credibility. According to the Civil Aeronautics Administration of Taiwan, SkyJet will need to undergo further examination before it plans to fly to Taiwan again due to its poor operating record. 

Friday, August 22, 2014

SkyJet Begins Flights to Kalibo and Taiwan

SkyJet Airlines recently launched new daily scheduled flights between Manila and Kalibo and new charter flights between Kalibo and Taiwan last week using its British Aerospace Bae-146 aircraft. Flights to Caticlan have now been suspended, while the carrier serves Boracay Island through the Kalibo gateway.

Copyright Photo: Adrian Smith/PPSG
In addition to its new 45-minute flight to Kalibo, SkyJet Airlines has managed to obtain a charter contract operating flights between Taipei and Kalibo. However, the inaugural flight did not go quite as planned earlier this month as the very first flight from Taipei had to be cancelled due to an aircraft malfunction.

Image Source: SkyJet Airlines
The SkyJet aircraft was scheduled to take off from Taipei at 9:50am. However, the pilot observed malfunctions and decided that the aircraft should be put through safety checks. The 73 passengers on board the aircraft were disembarked and were kept waiting until the afternoon until the flight was eventually cancelled. SkyJet offered compensation of NT$1,000 (US$33) to each of the passengers but did not offer any additional explanation of the incident.

Image Source: SkyJet Airlines
Meanwhile, SkyJet President Dino Reyes-Chua says that the carrier may also be contracted to operate charters between Boracay and Coron. "The problem for South Korea, China, and other European markets is it would be tiring for them to fly from Coron to Manila, and from Manila again to Boracay," said Reyes-Chua. He added that the airline continues to observe growing interest in a direct flight between Boracay and Coron, as noted in a traveller exit survey conducted by the municipality of Coron. 

Earlier this month, SkyJet launched the only flights available between Manila and Baler on August 17, just in time for the Baler Town Fiesta. The twenty minute flights are currently operated three times per week. Baler is the capital of Aurora province and is recognized as one of the most popular surfing destinations in the Philippines. In 2009, Google ranked Baler as one of the most searched beach destinations in the country.

Image Source: Out of Town Blog
The new destinations of Baler, Kalibo, and Taipei add to SkyJet's existing routes to Coron and Batanes. In order to accommodate the new flights, SkyJet has leased a Dornier 328 aircraft to operate its existing scheduled flights to Basco, Coron, and now Baler. Flights to Baler are every Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday, while flights to Coron are operated on Fridays and Sundays, and flights to Basco operate on Mondays and Fridays.

Image Source: Out of Town Blog
SkyJet flights to Taipei and Kalibo are operated using the carrier's four engined Bae-146 aircraft. Flights to Kalibo depart Manila on a daily basis. SkyJet is considered a full service airline experience that provides passengers with complimentary checked luggage, snacks, and beverages such as champagne.

According to SkyJet's President, the carrier is also planning on launching commercial flights to Naga, Vigan, and Siargao in the near future. The service to Naga would replace SkyJet's previous route to Virac, Cantanduanes. "Our mission is to serve the unserved, discover the undiscovered," added Reyes-Chua. He added that flights to Coron may increase to daily service in time for the peak season beginning in September or October.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

SkyJet Launching Kalibo and Baler Flights This Month

SkyJet Airlines has announced that it will be launching new flights from Manila to Baler and Kalibo later this month. The new flights will complement SkyJet's existing route network that serves Coron, Caticlan, and Batanes.

Copyright Photo: Arthur Bellosillo III/PPSG
According to a recent posting on SkyJet's Facebook page, the boutique leisure airline will launch flights to Kalibo, one of the major gateways to Boracay Island, beginning August 15, while flights to Baler will begin on August 17.

SkyJet's service to Baler is welcome news for both tourists and residents as it will be the only direct air link to and from Manila. The trip, which usually takes four to five hours by land, can now be completed in just twenty minutes by air. Flights will be operated every Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday with base fares starting as low as P1,600 plus applicable taxes and surcharges.

The Baler flights will land at Dr. Juan C. Angara Airport, which serves the general area of Baler, which is the capital of Aurora province. Although the airport serves Baler, it is actually located in the neighbouring municipality of San Luis. The last carrier to operate flights to the airport was Southeast Asian Airlines, which offered charter flights using a LET L-410 aircraft. 

Although the regularly scheduled flights to Baler will not begin until August 17, SkyJet has already completed its maiden flight. Senator Ed Angara was one of the first passengers to join the new service. According to Angara, with the new flights operated by SkyJet, the travel time between Manila and Baler continues to get shorter. "When I was first elected as Aurora representative in 2004, it used to take me nine to ten hours to travel to Metro Manila," said Angara. "But since the road was improved, the journey here has really shortened to four or five hours."

The shorter travel time to Baler is creating new opportunities for the town to take advantage of the growing tourism industry with travellers coming from all over to experience the beauty of this coastal town. "As they say, this is how the Philippines looked in the 1960's, before all the trees were cut down," said Angara. "The sea is very clean. So, I think this is what people appreciate here. It's an escape from the urban jungle, so to speak."

The town of Baler is also the birthplace of President Manuel Quezon. It faces the Pacific Ocean with sloping mountains following the contour of its beautiful coastline. Baler claims to be the birthplace of Philippine surfing, with not only the oldest, but largest surfing community in the country. In addition to surfing, tourists can enjoy beautiful beaches, whale sharks, and dolphin watching. 

According to Tourism Secretary Ramon Jimenez, Baler is one of the most breathtaking regions of the Philippines. "I have seen much of the world in my travels," said Jimenez. "I may not have seen everything, but I have seen enough to know that places like Baler in Aurora are right up there on the list of the most breathtaking vistas of mountains, sea and plant life folded into a spectacular life drama from almost every vantage point. I take this as proof that some way, somehow, God also had fun in the Philippines."

SkyJet will be operating flights to both Baler and Kalibo using its 79-seat British Aerospace Bae 146-100 aircraft. The carrier, which markets itself as "the airline of the stars," has earned a popular reputation among passengers for its full service experience. "SkyJet sells experience, not only seats," said Dino Chua, President of SkyJet Airlines. "We are not a low-cost carrier." Passengers travelling on SkyJet enjoy complimentary baggage, beverages, and even light snacks.  

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Philippine Carriers Continue to Seek Fuel Surcharge Increases

The cost of fuel surcharges being added to airline tickets in the Philippines is beginning to make passengers question the transparency of promo fares when fuel surcharges are adding significant costs to the price of airfares. Since January, Philippine carriers have been applying for increases on the existing fuel surcharges imposed on a number of international and domestic routes. According to the latest filings at the Civil Aeronautics Board, the trend is continuing.

atr 72
Copyright Photo: Angelo Agcamaran/PPSG
A number of local carriers are currently seeking the approval of the Civil Aeronautics Board to increase or impose fuel surcharges on domestic and international flights. According to the most recent filings, Cebu Pacific, Air Busan, Tigerair Philippines, and SkyJet have all filed applications with the Civil Aeronautics Board to impose fuel surcharges, which are designed to help recover losses from fluctuating fuel prices.

As of June 2014, the following applications have been filed at the Civil Aeronautics Board to impose fuel surcharges on the following routes:
  • Cebu Pacific: Cebu to Tandag (P300)
  • Tigerair Philippines: Manila to Cagayan de Oro (P500)
  • SkyJet: Manila to Basco (P2,940)
  • SkyJet: Manila to Busuanga (P1,960)
  • SkyJet: Manila to Caticlan (P2,613)
  • Air Busan: Cebu to Busan ($60)
The Civil Aeronautics Board of the Philippines allows air carriers to impose fuel surcharges as a temporary relief to recover losses from rising jet fuel prices. It is traditionally a levy imposed in addition to the cost of an airfare. According to the latest data from the International Air Transport Association, jet fuel prices increased by 2.2 percent as of June 6 versus the same period last year. A growing number of lobbyists are calling on the Civil Aeronautics Board to mandate local airlines to display the full cost of a ticket in any promotional advertising or marketing. 

Friday, June 6, 2014

SkyJet Launching Flights to Baler, Aurora

SkyJet Airlines, the country's boutique regional airline, has revealed that it will be launching the only commercial flights to Baler, the capital of Aurora beginning in July. The "airline of the stars" plans to operate three weekly flights between Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Manila and Baler.

bae 146-100
Copyright Photo: Arthur Bellosillo/PPSG
In its mission to uncover the country's untapped tourist spots, SkyJet will be the only air carrier to offer flights to Baler. The city is as rich in natural resources as it is in history. Located just one kilometre from the sea, Baler boasts undeveloped beaches along with an array of historical and natural attractions.

diguisit beach
Diguisit Beach
Image Source: Pinoy Photography
Baler is one of the country's top five surfing destinations with waves present all year round. Sabang Beach is considered to be the "birthplace of surfing in the Philippines." The long stretch of grey sandy beach is home to surf shops, schools, and is a popular spot among seasoned surfers with crashing waves coming in from the Pacific Ocean. It is believed that the best waves can be enjoyed between October and March. Board rentals in Baler are not cheap and it may be wise to bring your own. However, SkyJet offers complimentary transport of sports equipment.

skyjet baler flights
Surfing at Cemento, Baler
Copyright Photo:  Kage Gozun / Surfing Philippines
In addition to surfing, Baler also boasts an array of natural attractions including lush green mountainsides, picturesque waterfalls, and many panoramic beaches. It is a haven for adventure seekers and outdoor lovers. The region is often referred to as the "Sanctuary of Nature's Splendor" with its abundance of waterfalls, rivers, and crystal clear streams amidst the backdrop of the Sierra Madre mountain range. Tourists can go mountain climbing, trekking, snorkelling, bird watching, or even on a safari into the lush forests.

skyjet baler
Mother Falls, Baler, Aurora
Image Source: The Backpackers
But Baler also hosts a historic side. One of the most prominent historical sights is the home and rest house of former Philippine President Manuel Quezon. It is also home to the San Luis Obispo de Tolosa Church, the last Spanish outpost in the country. It was besieged by Filipino insurgents for 337 days until the Spanish surrendered.

Dicasalarin Beach, Baler
Image Source: Batang Baler
The new flights to Baler will be operated by SkyJet's 79-seat British Aerospace Bae 146-100 aircraft. The four engined jet is considered one of the safest in the world and is acclaimed for its quiet engine performance. The aircraft is specially designed to take off and land from short runways, making it an ideal choice for many of the smaller and remote tourist destinations in the Philippines. 

SkyJet offers a full service experience on board for its passengers including spacious seats, ample leg room, complimentary checked luggage, snacks, and beverages including champagne. "We want to be known as the first boutique leisure airline and satisfy our customers with topnotch services," said Dino Reyes-Chua, President of SkyJet Airlines. 

skyjet baler
Image Source: SkyJet
SkyJet recently launched the first and only jet service direct to Boracay Island via Caticlan airport. The carrier also operates regularly scheduled flights to Coron, Palawan and Basco, Batanes. "We will continue to develop our own niche in offering the only jet service to unique and exotic island destinations of the Philippines such as Batanes, Coron, Boracay, and soon, direct flights to Vigan and Baler," said Reyes-Chua.

Monday, April 14, 2014

SkyJet: Manila to Batanes Flight Review (Round-Trip)

Last October, I started thinking about different places to go for my annual vacation in 2014. I had never been to Batanes before and I was curious why so many travellers had been dreaming of going there. Since I travel somewhere each year, I decided to go to Batanes for my vacation this year. I booked my tickets on October 21 and planned my trip for January 29-31, 2014.

skyjet flights batanes
Copyright Photo: R.Badillo/PFN
Although I had not travelled with SkyJet before, I decided to fly with them because they advertised that they offered the "fastest flights" to Basco. Since my annual holiday time is limited, I wanted to ensure that I enjoyed every precious minute of my vacation. The SkyJet ticket was the most expensive airfare I have ever paid in spite of booking months in advance. They were more expensive than PAL Express but it was more important to me to have a faster flight.

SkyJet advertises that their flight from Manila to Basco takes 1 hour and 10 minutes on their Bae-146 jet aircraft. Since PAL Express uses the Q400 turbo-prop aircraft, their flight takes longer at 1 hour and 45 minutes. SkyJet is the only airline providing jet service to Batanes. Although my trip was originally scheduled for January, I was notified by SkyJet in advance that my flight had been cancelled due to maintenance on the aircraft. They rebooked my ticket for February 3-5 instead.

Unlike PAL Express, SkyJet flights depart from the old Manila Domestic Terminal also known as NAIA Terminal 4. My flight was very early in the morning scheduled to depart at 5:30am. I was supposed to check in at around 3:30am but I arrived at the terminal an additional hour earlier at 2:30am. When I approached the check-in counter, I was first in line. When I received my boarding pass, I was shocked to see that the flight's departure time had changed to 6:20am. This gave me nearly four hours to wait. I was frustrated and disappointed that I was not sent an e-mail or given any prior notification that the flight schedule had changed. When I questioned the staff at the check in counter, they seemed confused and did not know why my flight had been delayed. The SkyJet staff could improve their service by ensuring that they are able to answer all passenger's questions.

After completing my check-in, I proceeded to the waiting area at Terminal 4. Since the terminal is small, it did not take long to go through the check-in and security. Terminal 4 is very simple with just one large waiting area for all flights. But there are a few places where you can buy something to eat and there is also a Seattle's Best Coffee.

skyjet flights
Copyright Photo: R.Badillo/PFN
Several hours later, it was finally time to board my flight. The aircraft was a four-engined Bae 146-100 aircraft. It can carry 79 passengers. This is the only aircraft operated by SkyJet. I found the seats to be quite comfortable. As part of my ticket, SkyJet includes 10 kilograms of checked luggage, 5 kilograms for hand-carry, as well as in-flight snacks and beverages.

skyjet flights
Copyright Photo: R.Badillo/PFN
Our snacks were catered by Delifrance. We were served a chocolate croissant, a small sandwich, and a miniature fruit tart. They were all very "petit" and not good enough to satisfy an appetite in spite of the expensive airfare. Lucky for me, I brought my own "baon" so that I did not go hungry. We did not have a choice of beverages. They served a bottle of mineral water and sparkling wine in champagne glasses. But there was no alcohol in it. They called it juice. The rest of the flight went smoothly and we eventually arrived in Batanes.

Two days later, it was already the end of my vacation and I had to return home to Manila. At Basco Airport, I felt that security could use a little bit of improvement but the staff were very kind and accommodating. My flight was scheduled for 7:10am but the flight was delayed again. We did not end up departing until after 9:00am. I heard that the reason the flight was delayed was to exchange the landing slot with PAL Express. Others said that it was because Kris Aquino and her staff were supposed to be aboard the flight but they cancelled it because she was feeling sick.

skyjet flights batanes
Copyright Photo: R.Badillo/PFN
In spite of that, service in the air was great. We were provided with the usual snacks again and the same non-alcohol sparking wine. I wanted to take more photos inside the plane but I did not want to draw attention to myself. We eventually landed safely in Manila although we were a couple of hours behind schedule.
skyjet flights
Copyright Photo: R.Badillo/PFN
Overall, I enjoyed my trip. But compared to my past travels to Boracay, Palawan, and Cebu, I did not feel that the value of the ticket was fair for what I received. Perhaps Batanes is so expensive because there are limited flights with only two airlines. It would be nice to have more competition to lower the airfare. Maybe that would bring more tourists. I flew with Cebu Pacific and Airphil Express (now PAL Express) on my previous vacations and they did not offer any snacks. But I did get a discounted fare from Cebu Pacific when I booked in advance.

SkyJet was a more classy airline compared to other carriers that I have travelled with. It was the only airline where I have experienced being served a snack. But I'm not sure if that's really worth the extra money. I booked with SkyJet because they advertised that they offered the faster flight but with all of the delays, I did not save any time by choosing them. In spite of that, I would still fly with SkyJet again but if I found a lower airfare from PAL Express or another airline, I would try flying with them.

I have already recommended SkyJet to a friend of mine that is planning to go to Batanes later this year. But if I had to return to Batanes, I will choose the airline that gives the lowest airfare. If you are planning a trip to Batanes, it is more practical to choose the lowest airfare because you will need the extra money for food and transportation which is very expensive in Batanes compared to other places in the Philippines.

Flight Review by R. Badillo

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Monday, March 31, 2014

SkyJet Launching Boracay, Drops Virac

SkyJet Airlines has revealed that it will be launching the fastest flights and only jet-service from Manila to Boracay Island via Caticlan Airport beginning on April 15. The airline will begin operating the route with three flights per week.

skyjet boracay caticlan
Image Source: SkyJet Airlines/Facebook
SkyJet, which markets itself as "the airline of the stars" has earned a popular reputation for itself by carrying famous personalities from the Philippines including celebrities like Kris Aquino. In May, the airline will increase its frequency between Manila and Caticlan to daily service just in time for the peak summer season. The new flights to Boracay are in addition to SkyJet's existing flights to Basco, Batanes, and Coron, Palawan.

In addition to giving passengers the opportunity to "fly with the stars" to popular tourist destinations, SkyJet focuses on delivering a business-class flight experience to all of its passengers including spacious seats, ample leg room, complimentary baggage, and complimentary beverages including juices, coffee, and even champagne.

"We are not a low-cost carrier," said Dino Chua, President of SkyJet Airlines. "SkyJet sells experience, not only seats. We are here to promote destinations and culture and help our government achieve its tourism targets."

SkyJet will be operating its flights to Caticlan with a 79-seat British Aerospace Bae 146-100 aircraft built in the United Kingdom. The four engined jet has earned a popular reputation worldwide for its quiet performance, short-take off and landing ability as well as for being the British Royal Family's aircraft of choice. 

The aircraft gives SkyJet Airlines a competitive advantage in the Boracay market being the only airline able to offer jet service to the popular resort island as Caticlan's short runway is currently only able to handle turbo-props and aircraft with short-take off and landing abilities. SkyJet's exclusive jet service will provide the fastest flights to Boracay Island, exceeding those operated by competitors PAL Express and Cebu Pacific which utilise slower turbo-prop aircraft. 

skyjet boracay
Image Source: SkyJet Airlines/Facebook
Meanwhile, a report in the Cantanduanes Tribune revealed that SkyJet will no longer be flying to Virac. Congressman Cesar Sarmiento informed local media during a breakfast meeting that he had called SkyJet to check on the status of relaunching flights to Virac but was informed that Cebu Pacific's aggressive move to replace its turbo-prop service with an Airbus A319 aircraft had forced SkyJet out of the market.

With Cebu Pacific's aggressively priced budget fares, the small boutique airline simply could not compete with SkyJet management reportedly claiming that its costs amount to approximately P5,000 per seat. In spite of SkyJet's decision to drop its Virac route, Congressman Sarmiento expressed his gratitute to Skyjet for the vital role that it played in bringing jet service to the island. 

Last year, SkyJet's entry into Virac prompted Cebu Pacific to replace its turbo-prop aircraft with Airbus A319 aircraft in order to satisfy local tourists and commuters. Representatives from Cebu Pacific and the Civil Aviation Authority had to conduct a site inspection at Virac Airport last year in order to determine if an Airbus A319 aircraft could safely land on Virac's short runway. 

Meanwhile, Congressman Sarmiento also reported that the Civil Aviation Authority is proposing improvements to Virac Airport by 2015 including an extension of the runway and installation of runway lights to enable night flying. For decades, aircraft flying to and from Virac have been unable to land after 5:00pm due to sunset limitations.

Monday, February 24, 2014

SkyJet: The Philippines' First Boutique Leisure Airline is Back

SkyJet Airlines finally resumed flights at the end of last month after a more than three-month hiatus following an incident involving the airline's sole aircraft that overshot the landing strip on Balesin Island in October.
SkyJet Airlines
Image Source: SkyJet Airlines
As the company's sole aircraft was damaged in the incident, SkyJet was forced to cancel flights for the last three months to its three destinations of Basco, Virac, and Coron while a replacement aircraft was acquired. SkyJet eventually replaced its damaged 94-seat British Aerospace Bae 146-200 aircraft with a smaller 79-seat Bae 146-100 that arrived at the end of December. 

SkyJet bae 146
Image Source: SkyJet Airlines
With the arrival of the new aircraft, SkyJet Airlines successfully relaunched flights on January 31 to Batanes and Coron, Palawan from Manila. SkyJet now flies to Basco, Batanes every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. According to SkyJet's new President, Dino Chua, the resumption of flights to Batanes is designed to enable tourists to experience winter in the region, being the only province in the country that can boast four seasons. "This is one of the best times to visit Batanes and experience winter in the Philippines," said Chua. 

SkyJet is focusing on offering a business-class flight experience to all of its passengers with spacious seats and comfortable leg room. As part of the SkyJet experience, passengers can now enjoy a variety of complimentary beverages including juices, brewed coffee, and champagne. Chua added that 2014 promises to be a better year for the fledgling airline as more flights are opened to other island destinations throughout the country. 

SkyJet Airlines
"SkyJet: Airline of the Stars"
Image Source: SkyJet Airlines
In addition to Coron and Batanes, SkyJet is expected to resume service to Cantanduanes later this year with regular flights to Virac, one of the gateways to the Caramoan Islands. The airline also plans to launch service to Caticlan, the nearest airport serving the world-famous island resort of Boracay.

"The vision of SkyJet remains the same: to offer business-class flights to all niche destinations. We are not a low-cost carrier," said Chua. "SkyJet sells experience, not only seats. We are here to promote destinations and culture and help our government achieve its tourism targets."

SkyJet bae 146
'Dr. Joel Mendoza and Dino Chua'
Image Source: SkyJet Airlines
SkyJet was founded by Dr. Joel Mendoza in 2012. Mendoza, a dentist and businessman, was inspired to create the airline due to the lack of regular and reliable flights serving Batanes. With the creation of SkyJet, Mendoza hoped to not only improve access to Batanes but to provide tourists with an opportunity to see a picture-perfect Philippines as it was some fifty years ago. 

SkyJet Airlines
Image Source: SkyJet Airlines

Sunday, January 19, 2014

SkyJet Airlines Appoints New President

SkyJet Airlines has revealed that it is naming Dino Reyes-Chua as the new President of Magnum Air Inc, which does business as SkyJet Airlines. Chua leads a group of investors that infused additional capital into SkyJet Airlines in order for the fledgling carrier to strengthen its position and operations in 2014. 

skyjet airlines
Image Source: SkyJet Airlines / Facebook
The appointment was officially announced in December by former SkyJet President, Dr. Joel Mendoza. Mendoza, founder of the airline, will continue to serve as Chief Executive Officer and Chairman after stepping aside to to allow Chua, a young businessman and politician to step into the role of President. 

Chua was previously the youngest Vice-Mayor of Cavite City serving in that role between 2004 and 2010. He presently sits as a provincial board member of Cavite. In addition to his role as President of SkyJet Airlines, Chua, 33, also serves as Chairman and President of Greenbelt Hotels International which currently operates hotels in Ayala Center, Makati, and Coastal Bay, Cavite. An additional two hotels are expected to open this year. 

According to Chua, a graduate of Stanford University in the United States, SkyJet aims to steer clear of the low-cost carrier model that is highly competitive resulting in bad services and unsatisfied customers. "We want to be known as a first class Leisure Airline," said Chua. "We will continue to develop our niche in offering the only jet service to unique and exotic island destinations of the Philippines such as Coron in Palawan, Batanes, Cantanduanes, Siargao, and Boracay using a fleet of 2 British Aerospace Jet Aircraft."

Dino Reyes-Chua
Image Source: Wikipedia
SkyJet continues to pride itself on its fleet of British Aerospace Bae-146 aircraft, the same aircraft used by the British Royal Family in the United Kingdom. The four-engined aircraft is known for its quiet operation and is capable of landing and taking off on short runways that prevent other carriers from serving some of the island tourist destinations in the Philippines. SkyJet will be restoring flights in February after a three-month hiatus following an incident that damaged its sole aircraft on Balesin Island. The airline recently took delivery of a new aircraft to restore its flight operations in the Philippines.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

SkyJet Airlines to Return in February

After being grounded for more than two months after its sole aircraft overshot the runway at Balesin Island in October, SkyJet Airlines is poised to make a come back this coming February after recently taking delivery of a replacement aircraft.

bae 146-100 skyjet
Image Source: SkyJet Airlines
SkyJet Airlines released a photograph of its new aircraft on its Facebook page on December 31. The new aircraft, a 79-seat British Aerospace Bae 146-100 arrived in Manila on December 30, 2013 and will replace the larger 94-seat British Aerospace Bae 146-200 aircraft that was involved in the accident on Balesin Island.

SkyJet Airlines is planning to resume jet service to Batanes on February 3, 2014 with three weekly flights operated every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Service to Coron is also expected to be re-instated in February. 

According to an official at SkyJet Airlines, the newest member of the fleet, the 79-seat Bae 146-100 aircraft comes with a smaller fuselage and less seats than its 94-seat predecessor but the new aircraft will have the ability to land on the short runway at Caticlan Airport, the nearest gateway to Boracay Island. The airline is planning to introduce service between Manila and Caticlan Airport in April of 2014. No announcements were made regarding SkyJet's previous destination of Virac or the previously announced new destinations of Catarman and Surigao. 

SkyJet Airlines said that the features and looks of its new aircraft are identical to its predecessor and only aviators would be able to notice the minor differences. The airline reported on its Facebook website that although the new aircraft is smaller, SkyJet will be introducing all Business Class seats on its upcoming commercial flights. No photographs or information regarding the new Business Class cabin have been released yet but fares on the SkyJet website are considerably higher when compared with other carriers on similar routes. 

SkyJet is currently advertising fares between Manila and Coron in February for more than Php 5,000 each-way. But the airline maintains that their focus is to sell experience rather than seats. All SkyJet flights are inclusive of snacks and baggage charges. In addition, the airline markets that it provides the fastest flight and only jet service on all of its routes. SkyJet is also marketing the 3,000 kilograms of cargo space available on its British Aerospace aircraft offering sufficient space for passenger luggage, sports equipment, and balikbayan boxes. 

The airline plans to grow its fleet of British Aerospace 146 aircraft in order to serve under served destinations and niche markets in the Philippines in an effort to help develop tourism. SkyJet revealed on its Facebook page earlier this year that it aims to enhance customer relations in 2014 as a means to win back the trust and confidence of passengers that were inconvenienced as a result of the flight disruptions over the last two months. Several passengers reported poor communication, inability to obtain refunds, flight cancellations, and challenges reaching SkyJet staff in spite of the fact that SkyJet continued to sell tickets and reports that flights would resume. 

SkyJet previously announced that flights would resume in December but blamed long government processes and procedures as the reason that the resumption of flights was delayed as the airline could not obtain the necessary arrival permits for its new aircraft in a timely fashion. Airline officials also cited management issues, technical upgrading of their company website and Facebook page, along with an aircraft situation as causes of the poor communication and delays during the holiday season. The airline referred to the situation as, "bad timing."

In a statement released on its Facebook page, Skyjet said, "The other aircraft that overshot the runway in Balesin, which is one of the most prestigious resort islands in the Philippines, had severely disrupted our commercial flights. The arrival of a new SkyJet Bae 146 aircraft is welcome news, just in time for the peak season to provide a Business Class service not only for the elite class but also for the general commuters of SkyJet's commercial destinations. Happy New Year!" The airline added that refunds are currently being processed for passengers whose flights were cancelled and the estimated date of release is January 15, 2014.

SkyJet Airlines is owned by Philippine entrepreneur, Dr. Joel Mendoza and Philippine politician, Dino Carlo Chua. The airline was started in December 2012 with a focus on serving exotic niche destinations in the Philippines. By serving exotic niche destinations, the airline plans to contribute to the Philippine economy by boosting local tourism while advocating for the preservation of cultural heritage and natural resources.

"Unlike other players, SkyJet is not in the low cost carrier category. We promise our clients quality of service and affordable seats. We're bringing back the frills in flying," said SkyJet in a statement on its Facebook page. "We sell experience, not only seats. We are here to promote destinations and culture." 

Friday, October 25, 2013

SkyJet Suspends Flights, Pilots Grounded

The investigation by the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines into an accident involving a chartered SkyJet aircraft continues as the airline is forced to temporarily suspend operations while it acquires another aircraft. The SkyJet Airlines British Aerospace 146-200 (RP-C5525) chartered by Alphaland Corporation for guests of the exclusive Balesin Island Resort overshot the runway as it was landing on the 1,200 meter strip of Balesin Island last Saturday, October 19.

Image Source: April Jarin/Statigram
According to John Andrews, Deputy Director General of the Civil Aviation Authority, the aircraft landed very low on the middle portion of the runway and overshot it by 200 meters. The four-engined jet hit a fence and swerved nearly ninety degrees and damaged its nose. Initial reports suggest that the aircraft is a write-off after it was inundated by a subsequent high tide. The Civil Aviation Authority reported that pictures showing the aircraft submerged in water were only a result of the high tide that subsequently arrived after the aircraft made its crash landing and all 68 passengers safely disembarked.

Although the majority of passengers escaped without any severe injuries, the Civil Aviation Authority stated that one passenger's nose was broken while others sustained minor bruising. Meanwhile, CAAP has grounded both pilots of the aircraft, Captain Maximo Rosales and First Officer Jatico pending the on-going investigation. The aircraft has yet to be removed and CAAP has already determined that it can no longer be used again. The Civil Aviation Authority reports that it has not located any certification attached to the aircraft so far. If there is no certification in the final investigation, the airline may be grounded and its air operator's certificate may be revoked. CAAP also intends to investigate the responsibility and role of Alphaland Corporation in the incident.

Although SkyJet Airlines has not released any formal statements regarding the accident, it did respond to questions posted by users on its Facebook page. When asked by a Facebook user as to why the aircraft overshot the runway, the airline replied: "Overshots are human errors only. Keep in mind that behind every power jet, no matter how perfect the calculations are, the one in control is still just a person. Something as small as the change of wind pressure or a flock of birds moving toward the nose gear can change the momentum. Let us not miss the fact that no one was harmed. This alone should speak of how competent and well skilled our pilots are. Thank you!"

Given that the aircraft involved in the accident was the carrier's only aircraft, unconfirmed reports suggest that the airline has temporarily suspended flights and ticket sales for the month of November. But SkyJet has assured users on its Facebook page that it will be able to service passengers from December onwards. The airline responded to questions regarding the aircraft that it is in the process of acquiring an additional British Aerospace 146 aircraft. However, the model scheduled to arrive will be a 76-seat 100 series whereas the airline was previously operating a 94-seat 200 series model. According to representatives of SkyJet, the airline is just waiting for the documentation to be processed prior to taking delivery of the aircraft. The representative added that the 100 series aircraft would enable the airline to service more airports including Caticlan, Tablas, Catarman, and Calbayog. By early next year, the airline is expecting to add additional aircraft to the fleet. The airline added that previously planned flights to Surigao are currently on hold.

Monday, October 21, 2013

SkyJet Overshoots Runway on Balesin Island

The Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines is investigating an incident involving a chartered SkyJet Airlines aircraft that overshot the runway while landing on the island resort of Balesin on Saturday, October 19.

magnum air accident balesin
Copyright Photo: jackiesese/Instagram

The SkyJet British Aerospace 146-200 aircraft was chartered by the Alphaland Corporation, the owner and operator of Balesin Island Club. The jet was carrying 68 passengers and 7 crew on board including Health Secretary Enrique Ona and RCBC President Lorenzo Tan. It departed Ninoy Aquino Terminal 4 in Manila on Saturday morning for the 30-minute flight to Balesin, located in Quezon province. But according to officials from Alphaland, the plane overshot the runway during landing at approximately 11:49am.

"The plane overshot the runway during landing," said Joanna Duarte, Alphaland SVP for Sales & Marketing. "No one was injured in the incident." She added that flights to and from the island would continue without interruption and that club management would take measures to ensure the safety and reliability of the club's flight operations.

According to John Andrews, Deputy Director of the Civil Aviation Authority, the aircraft's pilot, Captain Maximo Rosales, miscalculated the island's runway causing the aircraft to plunge around 200 meters away from the end of the air strip. He added that the aircraft's nosewheel was damaged when it got partially submerged in the sea water. Captain Rosales was assisted by First Officer Jatico.

The condition of the aircraft registered RP-C5525 remains unclear. However, the Civil Aviation Authority is continuing their investigation. Of the seventy five passengers on board the aircraft, nobody was seriously injured.

Balesin Island is located east of Mauban in Quezon province beside the Polillo Islands. It rests at the gate of Lamon Bay, one of the richest fishing grounds in the Pacific. Alphaland Corporation charters aircraft to bring its elite guests to the exclusive Balesin Island Club.

Monday, September 16, 2013

SkyJet: Daily Flights to Coron Begin in December

SkyJet Airlines has announced that it will be increasing service on its popular route between Manila and the island of Busuanga in Northern Palawan beginning in December.

skyjet busuanga palawan
Image Source: SkyJet Airlines
The route was launched last February 2013 with three weekly flights. It continues to be the only jet service between Manila and Coron. Flights are operated using the airline's four engined BAE 146-200 jets that are specially designed to accommodate short runways.

On December 2, 2013, the airline plans to increase its service to daily flights competing directly with PAL Express and Cebu Pacific. But the young airline has a distinct advantage over its competitors offering the fastest flights from Manila at just 40 minutes in duration. In addition, SkyJet offers a full-service product with complimentary in-flight snacks and beverages as well as a free baggage allowance. Promotional fares start at just P1,500 one-way including all taxes and fees. 

Flights will depart Manila daily at 10:30am arriving in Busuanga at 11:10am. The return flight back to Manila departs Busuanga at 11:40am and arrives back in Manila at 12:20pm. SkyJet will offer a special promotional rate of P2,500 during the MANILART Exhibit at SMX Aura from October 10-13.

Meanwhile, Dr. Joel Mendoza, President of SkyJet,  continues to be an advocate for developing new tourist destinations in the country. Earlier this year, he called upon tourism officials and industry stakeholders to collaborate to market new destinations citing that the Philippines has more exotic destinations than just Boracay and Palawan.

SkyJet Airlines currently flies to Batanes, Busuanga, and Virac. The airline just launched a new direct service to Surigao on September 15 with flights departing Manila every Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday. The airline plans to concentrate on developing its existing destinations as Eco-Cultural Destinations before opening more new routes. 

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

SkyJet to Make Romblon Accessible to Tourists

SkyJet Airlines is planning a modest fleet expansion to raise the number of aircraft in its fleet up to five aircraft within the next three to five years and a new partnership with the ABS-CBN Foundation will support the airline in its quest for growth. 

Copyright Photo:

Under the new partnership, the Foundation and SkyJet will jointly promote eco-tourism sites in the country. According to SkyJet President Joel Mendoza, the agreement will enable the airline to fly "high-end" tourists to new tourism destinations as early as September of this year. 

Mendoza recently called upon the Department of Tourism and tourism stakeholders across the country to pool resources to promote more destinations in the country particularly the less known places. He said that the Department of Tourism must expand its marketing efforts beyond Boracay and Palawan in order to help new destinations develop. 

The Foundation responded to Mendoza's call to action through this partnership that will enable the airline to bring tourism to the untapped areas of the country while improving lives in the communities. It's an advocacy that Mendoza said the airline is committed to. The airline and foundation will work together to develop destinations and explore new sites under the Green Initiative Project. 

According to the Foundation's Managing Director Gina Lopez, the Green Initiative Project aims to protect and preserve the environment while harnessing resources and potential to uplift the lives of less fortunate communities through livelihood and agricultural programs. Such a vision is shared by SkyJet's aim to promote cultural tourism and conserve the environment through collaborated efforts between private sector and governments. 

“There is no single person or institution that can bring this country forward," said Lopez. "But if there are many institutions and people that believe in their heart that this is the way to go and commit to it – in truth, in service and the common good – I have no doubt in my mind that our country is going to see a brilliant future ahead."

Copyright Photo: Michael Zantua
The ABS-CBN Foundation and SkyJet will begin this new partnership in Tablas in Romblon. Once Tablas is established, the Foundation looks forward to exploring more potential tourist destinations under the Green Initiative project and that is welcome news for SkyJet. "We will be able to introduce Tablas in Romblon as another alternative tourism route for tourists," said Mendoza. "There are other areas in the country that we need to promote as tourism destinations." 

"We are not here to compete with big airlines, we are here to complement them," said Mendoza. "There is a great imbalance in our tourism industry and we would like to help address this imbalance by servicing areas not being served by big airlines." According to Mendoza, by serving niche destinations irrespective of passenger traffic, SkyJet can set a goal to contribute to the Philippine economy by providing a badly needed boost to local tourism while simultaneously advocating for the preservation of natural resources and cultural heritage. 

SkyJet's British Aerospace aircraft features short take off and landing ability that enables it to tackle short runways that traditional jet aircraft cannot access. It is well suited to many of the remote and undeveloped destinations with unimproved runways in the country. SkyJet currently services Basco, Busuanga, and Virac. The airline will be expanding to Surigao in August. 

The province of Romblon is home to Sibuyan Island, the world's densest forest. According to Mendoza, SkyJet will now be able to make Romblon more accessible to tourists. Fil-Asian Airways, the newest entrant to the Philippine market recently announced that it was restoring air service to Romblon with direct service between Manila and Tablas aboard a YS-11 aircraft beginning later this month. 

Sunday, June 23, 2013

SkyJet CEO: It's More Fun in the Philippines, Not Just Boracay and Palawan

Dr. Joel Mendoza, CEO of SkyJet Airlines is calling on the Department of Tourism to expand its marketing to include more Philippine tourism destinations than just Boracay and Palawan. 

skyjet joel mendoza
Photo Source: SkyJet
Mendoza is asking industry stakeholders and tourism officials to collaborate on an effort to market new destinations. "The country has more exotic destinations aside from Boracay and Palawan that the world has yet to discover," said Mendoza. "Caramoan was just another one of our taken for granted gems until Survivor raved about it. Many foreign travel wholsalers believed in its potential and we now have more foreigners coming over."

The CEO went on to say that many foreign travellers are more familiar with the Caramoan Islands and other relatively unknown hot spots than local Filipino tourists. "We have 7,107 islands! There is still so much more the Philippines has to offer," said Mendoza. He believes that the country can expand its market base faster if the world could see all that the Philippines has to offer and not just Boracay. He says that most tourism destinations in the country already have a loyal following and enjoy the economic benefits of tourism but the country needs to help expand that. 

According to Mendoza, there is an opportunity for each province to replicate the collaborative effort that was undertaken to promote Batanes as an eco-cultural tourism destination involving communities and locals. Such an approach can be more potent and effective if done one province at a time. In Western nations, destination marketing activities are typically a collaborative effort of government and the private sector. In many cases, the business community takes the lead while the government merely acts in a supporting role. 

There are several city and regional based destination marketing organizations that are membership driven and solely funded through its own activities and government funding or marketing fees charged through hotels. The benefit of such a model is that the marketing organization is accountable to the private sector and primary stakeholders ensuring no political interference or vulnerability if conditions change. It helps to maximize resources and efficiency in addition to recruiting skilled individuals. The current model in the Philippines is heavily reliant on government with little accountability to the private sector or stakeholders. This raises the question as to who ensures that provincial or city tourism officers are effective in their positions marketing a destination. If such responsibility is left to government, the reality is they may not care enough as they can't see the potential or economic benefit of tourism.   

Meanwhile, SkyJet's CEO appealed to Tourism Secretary Ramon Jimenez Jr. to address the marketing imbalance by promoting new destinations but focusing on a particular destination at a time. "Why don't we all agree on coming together for the greater good of our country and use shared resources to focus promotions on Caramoan or Siargao as an example," said Mendoza. "The government cannot do this alone. It needs to be supported by the private sector, the local communities, and the media especially."

For Mendoza, tourism is the best way to achieve the inclusive-growth that President Aquino is advocating where communities may benefit from the country's national assets. A recent report released showed that the country's highly acclaimed economic growth was not trickling down to the poor of the country and not resulting in any additional job creation. "It is said that tourism has a domino effect because it produces more jobs and livelihood opportunities for the communities that host tourist attractions. More visitors mean more people needed to service them, more food consumed, more places to sleep in, more souvenir items to buy, and so on," said Mendoza. 

The SkyJet CEO certainly seems to be on the right path but until the country can find more tourism champions like Mendoza, such a vision will be challenging to execute until community leaders step forward to bring the communities, government, and private sector to the table to effect change. Are hundreds of tourism officers around the country capable of such an initiative? The country will have to wait and see. One can only hope that now the challenge has been put out, someone will step up to lead the charge. 

SkyJet is doing its part flying to the less known but equally intriguing destinations of Batanes and Virac (Caramoan) helping to make them more accessible to tourists. In August, Surigao will be added to the list of destinations served by SkyJet's fleet of British Aerospace 146 aircraft. SkyJet also serves Coron on Busuanga Island and is expected to launch service to Catarman in the near future. 

Saturday, June 1, 2013

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Saturday, May 25, 2013

SkyJet to Launch Jet Service to Surigao

SkyJet Airlines announced today that it will be adding its fourth destination to its quickly growing route network this coming August.

skyjet surigao
Photo Copyright: Kit Stephen Agad/PPSG
Surigao Airport in the province of Surigao del Norte will become the airline's fourth destination on August 18, 2013 when the airline launches three weekly flights from Manila.

Surigao del Norte is best known for its long stretches of white sand beaches, mysterious caves, enchanting rock formations, and vast mangrove forests all surounded by the beautiful turquoise blue waters of northeastern Mindanao. The powerful waves of Siargao Island has earned the province the title of "Surfing Capital of the Philippines."

For surfers and body boarders, Surigao del Norte is paradise. But the rural charm of this quiet and pristine destination is growing in popularity as more visitors from around the world discover it. Luxury and romantic adventurers will especially be left in awe by Club Tara Resort located on Bucas Grande Island. Just imagine relaxing in your own private cottage perched on stilts above the turquoise blue waters as you soak in your very own jacuzzi. Need we say more?

Club Tara Resort - Surigao del Norte
Photo Copyright: Club Tara Resort - Surigao del Norte
SkyJet will be operating its Manila to Surigao flight every Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday. The flight time will be a mere 75 minutes. SkyJet has become a familiar face in the Philippine skies known for flying to some of the country's most remote regions and emerging tourist destinations with its British Aerospace BAE-146 jet aircraft. SkyJet currently serves the destinations of Basco in Batanes, Coron in Palawan, and Virac in Cantanduanes. The airline is proud to be the only jet operator on all routes making SkyJet flights the fastest from Manila.

The SkyJet experience is growing in popularity among Filipinos as the airline continues to restore the romance of flying. From warm Filipino hospitality to complimentary snacks and beverages, SkyJet aims to please rather than squeezing every peso out of its passengers like the popular a-la-carte system used by competing Philippine budget airlines. SkyJet's fares are all-inclusive which means there will be no extra charge for check-in luggage either.

SkyJet Airlines is also expected to announce new jet service connecting Manila and Catarman in the very near future.

skyjet surigao
Photo Copyright: SkyJet Airlines
begins August 18, 2013
Tuesday / Thursday / Saturday

  Flight 316     Depart Manila 9:00am        Arrive Surigao 10:15am

Flight 315   Depart Surigao 10:45am      Arrive Manila 12:05pm