THE Philippine Airlines (PAL) is all set for its maiden flight operations from Cebu City to Borongan City Airport (IATA Code: BPA) in Eastern Samar on December 19, 2022, following the recent signing of a memorandum of agreement with the City Government of Borongan.

“We are very happy with this partnership. With these direct flights, it will be more convenient for Boronganons to travel to and from our beloved city,” said Borongan Mayor Jose Ivan Dayan Agda.

“Many travelers have long lamented how inconvenient it is to travel to our city. Hopefully, these flights will create more business and tourism opportunities for Borongan,” he added.

PAL, the country's flag carrier, will operate Cebu-Borongan return flights twice a week – every Monday and Friday.

“The entire Philippine Airlines family shares the excitement of the people of Eastern Samar over the new PAL service between Cebu and Borongan,” said Captain Stanley Ng, president and chief operating officer of Philippine Airlines.

According to Ng, they look forward to welcoming more business and leisure travelers from around the country and the world on board PAL in Borongan “so that they may discover spectacular surfing haven and the home of vast natural treasures.”

Presently, travelers to the capital of Eastern Samar province have to land at Tacloban Airport, then they would travel five to six hours by land to reach Borongan.

The other option is to travel by land from Manila, which takes around two days.

According to the City Government, the flights to Borongan will also benefit the province of Eastern Samar and nearby Northern Samar towns of Lapinig, Gamay and Mapanas.

“One of the main reasons why many of our fellow Boronganons who have been living elsewhere do not come and visit our city is because of the travel required to go here,” said Rupert Ambil, city information officer-in-charge and head of Borongan City Flight Operations.

“With these new flights, we want to make it convenient for Boronganons to come home. Consider this the local government’s Christmas gift to our fellow Boronganons,” he added.

In a statement, Ambil said the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (Caap) responded immediately to their request and gave them the layout of the Borongan City Airport.

“They were very helpful in giving us the steps we needed to take to make our airport ready for commercial flights. We are very thankful to them,” added Ambil.

Caap also provided x-ray machines from other airport facilities to Borongan, while the Borongan City Government “will handle the logistics and will manage the refurbishment of the airport following recommendations from flight specialists.”

This is the first time the Borongan City Airport will be used for regular commercial operations after it was completed in March 2013. (SunStar Philippines)