Increase in int'l, reg'l flights in Aklan show uptrend in tourism
by Venus G. Villanueva
Kalibo, Aklan (2 February) -- The uptrend in tourism in Aklan is indicated by its increase in international and regional flights in the province's two airports.
In his State of the Province Report (SOPA), Aklan governor Carlito S. Marquez said the Caticlan Airport in 2009 registered 17,988 flights and 550,084 passengers - 256,458 of which are incoming ones; 96,585 foreign; 145,505 domestic, and 14,388 OFW passengers.
On the other hand, Kalibo International Airport registered 5,203 domestic flights and 360 regional flights in 2009, compared with 2008 which had 2,171 and 132 respectively.
Marquez said that in 2009, inbound passengers for domestic flights numbered 360,265 while inbound passengers for regional flights reached 20,608 compared to 2008's 183,110 inbound domestic passengers and 12,411 inbound regional passengers.
"Outbound domestic passengers registered 377,177 and outbound regional passengers were 20,809 in 2009, a much higher number compared to only 191,685 outbound domestic passengers and 12,839 outbound regional passengers of 2008," Marquez reported.
Last January 15, President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo was at the Caticlan Airport for the capsule-laying ceremonies of the P2.5 billion Caticlan Airport Development Project (CADP).
The 25-year Build-Operate-Transfer project involves the widening and extension of the Caticlan Airport Runway, construction of 9,200 square meters new two-storey passenger terminal building, and the installation of navigation and air traffic control facilities.
When completed after 7 years, tourism, business and livelihood activities will all the more increase in Boracay and the whole province of Aklan.
The further development of the two airports - bringing more tourists and revenues means more funds for poverty-alleviation projects, scholarships for the poor and more opportunities for indigents to break away from the cycle of poverty, the governor said.
At Kalibo International Airports flights accommodated are the once-a-week flight of Philippine Airlines and the twice a week flights of China Airlines to Taipei, Taiwan. Zestair has regular flights to Incheon, South Korea four times a week.
Some international airlines that previously landed at KIA were Korean Air, Pacific Pearl Airways, TransAsia Airways and Shanghai Airlines.
Presently, phase I of the International Passenger Terminal Building is 100% complete. (PIA) [top]