SINGAPORE, 24 October 2018: Philippines’ Cebu Pacific will be the first airline to land at Boracay’s Caticlan airport to reopen the island that has been closed to tourists for six months.
Cebu Pacific will resume flights to and from Caticlan, the main gateway to Boracay, from 26 October making it the first to land in Caticlan, the closest airport to the island’s ferry service.
Although the full rehabilitation of the island’s infrastructure will take another six months to complete, resorts that comply with strict environmental rules are opening for business this weekend.
Cebu Pacific is offering a special seat sale in Singapore to mark the reopening with fares as low as SGD142 for bookings made by 26 October.
The deal is applicable for travel to Boracay from 1 January to 31 March 2019, which usually requires a change of plane in Manila or at other gateway airports such as Cebu of Clark.
Ironically, readers of Conde Nast ranked Boracay among the world’s best beach getaways, an accolade that failed to stick once the Philippines’ President labelled the island a cesspool and ordered its closure last April.
But airlines are confident that with a round of cheap fares over the next few months, the island will make a recovery.
The best offers posted on Skyscanner in November start with Cebu Pacific at SGD429 for a roundtrip fare, which is considerably higher that the airline’s 2019 travel offer. The outward trip takes around 21 hours end-to-end between airports and on the return journey eight hours and 35 minutes. Flights land at Caticlan, the nearest airport to Boracay.
PAL is way behind its competitor with a fare of SGD718 and the gruelling prospect of end-to-end travel of around 12 hours on the outward leg and nine hours on the return trip.
Boracay’s lack of direct flights and end-to-end travel of eight to 12 hours is a serious downside for travellers resident in Singapore, who are used to convenient direct flights to Bali that take just two hours and 50 minutes.
But if you are prepared to fly to Kalibo airport, 68 km away from the ferry port, then Scoot comes to the rescue with a direct flight from Singapore at a roundtrip fare of SGD178
Out of Kuala Lumpur there are no direct flights to either Caticlan, or Kalibo airports, so travel times can vary from eight to 13 hours with fares of around SGD315 to 432.
Bangkok-based travellers will face the worst travelling times to Boracay that can extend to a 26-hour end-to-end transfer on Cebu Pacific to Caticlan airport with a roundtrip fare of SGD766. PAL is a better option with nine hours one way and six on the return leg with a fare of SGD792 also to Caticlan airport.
If you opt for a flight to Kalibo on PAL the fare is slightly cheaper at SGD677, but the end-to-end travel is about the same.
For Thailand residents who have a love affair with beach resorts travel times to Boracay are a negative. Yet some might be tempted to witness the rehabilitated Boracay that promises to be a fine example of a squeaky clean resort that has even banned its famous beach parties.
However, airlines add a word of caution when booking accommodation. Passengers flying to Boracay should note that they can only book rooms from accredited hotels.
Cebu Pacific warns that it is imperative visitors book and have proof of confirmed reservations at hotels and resorts that are compliant with the requirements of the Department of Tourism, Department of Interior and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources otherwise they will not be allowed to board the ferry to Boracay Island.
Cebu Pacific flies between Singapore and Manila three times daily, Effective, 28 October the airline and its subsidiary Cebgo will fly seven daily flights between Manila and Caticlan; twice daily between Cebu and Caticlan; and daily between Clark and Caticlan.
As an alternative, Cebu Pacific serves Boracay Island with flights that land at Kalibo airport, 68 km from the Caticlan ferry port. It offers daily flights from Manila and also Incheon in South Korea to Kalibo where passengers board taxis for the one-hour transfer to the Caticlan port.
Airlines and destinations – Kalibo airport
|Royal Air Charter||Charter: Tuguegarao|
|Philippines AirAsia||Busan, Clark (resumes 27 October 2018), Manila, Seoul–Incheon|
operated by PAL Express
|Cebu, Chengdu, Manila
|Philippine Airlines||Beijing–Capital, Busan, Cebu, Manila, Seoul–Incheon, Taipei-Taoyuan
Seasonal charter: Khabarovsk
|Okay Airways||Changsha, Tianjin, Xi’an|
|Juneyao Airlines||Nanjing, Shanghai–Pudong|
|China Airlines||Seasonal: Taipei–Taoyuan|
operated by Cebgo
|Cebu Pacific||Clark (resumes 28 October 2018), Cebu, Manila, Seoul–Incheon
Charter: Beijing–Capital, Chongqing
Airlines and destinations — Caticlan
|Air Juan||Busuanga, Cuyo, Tagbilaran|
|AirSWIFT||El Nido (resumes October 27, 2018)|
|Cebu Pacific||Cebu, Manila|
operated by Cebgo
|Cagayan de Oro, Cebu, Clark (resumes 28 October 2018), Manila|
operated by PAL Express
|Cebu, Clark (resumes 28 October 2018), Manila|
|Philippines AirAsia||Cebu, Clark (resumes 27 October 2018), Manila|
|Royal Air Charter||Clark (begins November 12, 2018)|
|SkyJet||Manila (temporarily suspended)|