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Charter flights to Boracay gateway airports allowed again

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Boracay Airport 072319 - Charter flights to Boracay gateway airports allowed again

THE GOVERNMENT is again allowing airlines to offer charter flights to Boracay gateway airports Kalibo and Caticlan after lifting the suspension on new flights that it issued last month, subject to limits on aircraft size.

The Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) said in an advisory dated July 18 that it lifted the moratorium on new and additional charter flights going to the resort island a day earlier, under certain conditions that take into consideration the limits imposed on Boracay’s carrying capacity.

Because of the limited capacity of Boracay, the CAB said schedules for the new flights must be spread out on certain days of the season, which will be determined by the Air Operating Rights Division.

Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said in a text message Monday the carrying capacity of Boracay remains at 6,405 visitor arrivals per day.

The CAB also said the aircraft that may be used for the charter flights to Kalibo and Caticlan must have a maximum capacity of 200 passengers.

Airlines that wish to apply for new charter flights must provide a 30-day notice for before the intended start of operations. But the CAB noted it will act on an application within three days from an airline’s filing.

On June 11, the CAB issued an advisory suspending carriers from mounting new and additional flights to and from Kalibo and Caticlan during the dry season.

The CAB said in an April 17 advisory that carriers must ensure that Boracay-bound passengers have confirmed bookings with accredited hotels.

The government shut down the island for a six-month rehabilitation to facilitate an environmental cleanup after establishments were found to have been dumping sewage into the sea, among other polluting practices.

Budget carriers Cebu Pacific and Philippines AirAsia have said they were forced to reduce flights to the island to match its carrying capacity. — Denise A. Valdez

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