Cebu Pacific Returns To Calbayog

For several months now, Cebu Pacific Air (CEB) has not been flying between Manila and Calbayog. I do not know why this happened, only that they cancelled all of their flights. Their website still showed the route, and Calbayog continued to be included in their promotional offers, even though no flight dates were available. Now that appears to be changing.

According to the current CEB Domestic Flight Schedule, they will renew service beginning on June 10, 2011. (see picture below)

CEB - Domestic Flight Schedule of 4/11/2011

CEB - Domestic Flight Schedule of 4/11/2011

Cebu Pacific Adds Flights

Cebu Pacific Airlines will soon be increasing it’s flights to two Samar Island cities. Starting August 16, 2009, flights to Calbayog City (Western Samar) and Catarman (Northern Samar) will become daily flights. Currently there are 4 flights per week to Catarman, and 3 flights per week to Calbayog. According to a Cebu Pacific Press Release, “The lowest Go Lite fare for both destinations is P888.”  All of these flights will be between Samar and Terminal 3 of Manila’s Ninoy Aquino International Airport.

I’m still wondering why there is no service between Samar and Cebu?

Calbayog Airport Update

With 3 airlines now flying through Calbayog, I thought I would take another trip out to the Sabang Airport, to see what changes have been made. I went out there on February 17th, the day before Cebu Pacific’s first flight.

The first change I noticed was the control tower, which has been rennovated.

Here is how the check in area looked. I was told Cebu Pacific was bringing their banner with them, on their flight the next day. Cebu Pacific will be right next to Zest Air. I guess PAL Express get’s the bigger area, since they fly daily.

Other changes that have been made include new sections of perimiter fence and parking lot improvements. An extension to the runway is also in the works, but waiting for funding.

You can read more about Cebu Pacific’s first flight at the Calbayog City blog article: “Cebu Pacific flies to Calbayog“.

Zest Air grounded.

If you were planning on flying Zest Air between Calbayog and Manila today, you were out of luck. There was a last minute cancellation, due to maintenance issues. Apparently, the plane did not pass a pre-flight inspection, or was otherwise not ready in time for boarding in Manila. About 11 AM the representatives in Calbayog were making a mad dash to contact all the locally ticketed passengers.

If you remember, Zest Air purchased Asian Spirit late last year. There was a short period of no flights, as the planes had to be detailed for the new airlines. On December 26, 2008, Zest Air started their flights to Calbayog. Then, on January 11, 2009, a Zest Air plane crashed at the Caticlan airport. Three people were injured in that crash, when the plane undershot the runway.

While Zest Air will make refunds to passengers of todays cancelled flight, people with connecting flights, or scheduled events, may be out of luck.

Calbayog Airlines Page

I just completed a page about the Airlines that fly between Calbayog City’s Sabang Airport and Manila: Zest Airways, PAL Express, and Cebu Pacific. You can find that page here!

Calbayog's Third Airline

A new airline is comming to Calbayog. Cebu Pacific Airlines has already opened it’s ticketing office in Calbayog, and is scheduled to start service, between Calbayog’s Sabang Airport, and Manila, on Feburary 18, 2009. According to Cebu Pacific’s local representative, Analyn S. Amoguez, the flights will be Monday, Wednessday, and Friday mornings.

Currently Zest Airways (formerly Asian Spirit), and PAL Express also fly between Calbayog and Manila. Zest Air is currently scheduled for Monday, Wednesday, and Friday afternoons, while PAL Express offers daily flights. That means their could be 3 flights every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. We will have to wait and see if any of the airlines change their schedule. Personally, I would like to see some flights added to Cebu.

All of this change is pretty amazing, when you consider that we only had a couple flights a week, at this time last year. I’ve heard some of the other Samar airports are experiencing similiar changes. So why is there suddenly all this interest in our area? We have PGMA’s “Central Philippines Tourism Super Regions program” to thank for that. President Arroyo believes that tourism is the key to development.

Local Cebu Pacific representative Analyn S. Amoguez in the new Calbayog Ticketing office

Local Cebu Pacific representative Analyn S. Amoguez in the new Calbayog Ticketing office

PAL Express Flys to Calbayog

PAL EXPRESS STARTS LOW FARE SERVICE BETWEEN CALBAYOG AND MANILA

PAL Express flight landing in Calbayog

The sound of helicopters filled the air today, as President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo visited Calbayog City. Her visit was to welcome Philippine Airlines new low fare PAL Express service to Calbayog. President Arroyo expressed interest in attending the arrival of the inaugural flight when she was informed of it by Calbayog Mayor Mel Senen Sarmiento at an earlier meeting in Malacañang. This marks the first time Calbayog has been serviced by 2 concurrent airlines. Until now, Asian Spirit has been flying between Manila and Calbayog 3 times weekly. With PAL Express flying the other 4 days, Calbayog now has daily air service.
UPDATE: Arroyo has now directed local and national officials to upgrade the Calbayog Airport.

Additional Information and Related Stories:

Philippine Airlines Website, where you can get flight information.

July 17, 2008: Out In Calbayog City, Again: Images from the President’s visit.

July 16, 2008: GMA orders upgrade of Calbayog airport

July 15, 2008 article on GMANEWS.TV: PAL revives Eastern Visayas flights

July 13, 2008 article on Gov.Ph: PGMA to welcome passengers on inaugural flight of PAL Express to Calbayog on Tuesday.

July 13, 2008 article on GMANEWS.TV: Arroyo to welcome passengers on PAL express inaugural flight to Samar

Philippine Information Agency Press Release of July 12, 2008

Note: This article was origionally published on our Calbayog News Page, which has been replaced by this blog.

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