TRAVELERS from Cebu can now directly fly to El Nido, Palawan with an airline company opening a new route to connect two of the country’s most visited tourist destinations.

AirSWIFT, operated by the Island Transvoyager Inc., operated its inaugural flight for the Cebu-El Nido route last Thursday afternoon.

“It goes without saying that Cebu and El Nido are two of the top destinations in the Philippines, and until today it was extremely difficult to get from one place to the other,” AirSWIFT general manager Alfie Reyes said during the launch in the Mactan Cebu International Airport.

The airline company offers daily flights from Cebu to El Nido and vice versa.

Its 50-seater aircraft flies from El Nido to Cebu at 12:55 p.m. every day, and the expected time of arrival is 2:35 p.m.

Daily flight from Cebu to El Nido is scheduled at 3:15 p.m., and the expected time of arrival is 4:55 p.m.

“We are confident that there will be a good market for this in Cebu,” Reyes said.

Travel agents, airport officers and Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines officers were among those who flew on the maiden flight.

In the absence of the Cebu-El Nido route, Reyes pointed out that tourists had to fly to Manila to get a flight to the famed Palawan destination.

There are flights from Cebu to Puerto Princesa, Palawan but from Puerto Princesa, one has to take a land trip for six hours to El Nido.

El Nido was hailed the most beautiful beach in the world by Conde Nast Traveler, a US travel magazine that conducts a poll among its readers every year.

Palawan was also named the most beautiful island in the world by the magazine.

El Nido is known for white sand beaches and several limestone formations.

It is also popular for eco-adventure, offering island hopping, rock climbing and diving, among other activities.

AirSWIFT is the only airline that flies commercially on a regular basis directly to El Nido.

It flies four times every day from Manila to El Nido and also four times from El Nido to Manila.

It also offers chartered flights to El Nido, where it operates a private airport.

The airline company is ISO-certified and has passed quality and safety audits evaluation of various multinational corporations.