BAGUIO CITY – Local tourism industry stakeholders are now on the final stages of negotiating with a travel and tour operator that owns a low-cost airline company to start servicing flights for the Manila-Baguio-Manila route to help entice more foreign and domestic visitors to spend their desired break in the city.
Anthony de Leon, president of the 250-strong hotel and Restaurant Association of Baguio (HRAB) and general manager of the Baguio Country Club (BCC), said the local hoteliers group has been negotiating with the management of MAG Travel, a local travel and tour operator that owns an airline company, to schedule their inaugural flight serving the Manila-Baguio-Manila route to help attract people to fly to the city to attend to their business and transactions and fly back to Manila on the same day or for tourists to be able to easily use the air flights for easier access to the city.
He added that the flights will initially be scheduled on weekends when there is a huge volume of visitors flocking to the city to save on travel time and have more time to enjoy the cool weather condition and the scenic attractions in the different parts of the city.
“We hope our group can seal the negotiations with the travel and tour company so that airline services to the city can start to entice people to use the available air transport instead of being stranded along the major roads due to the monstrous traffic caused by the huge influx of motor vehicles to the city,” de Leon stressed.
However, the HRAB official revealed their counterpart wants to make sure the airline seats are sold to the interested individuals willing to avail of the air service, especially multinational companies that have executives who want to be in their desired points of destination the soonest to attend to their important engagements in Baguio city and Metro Manila.
According to him, the results of the initial flights to and from the city during weekends will help the management decide whether or not to pursue flying the route even during week days.
He disclosed the inaugural fight of the airline will be anytime this month depending on the outcome of the final negotiations between responsible HRAB officers and the travel and tour management.
It will be recalled that sometime in 2009, the airline company servicing the Manila-Baguio-Manila route backed out from continuing providing the air service to and from the city because the same was an alleged losing venture that prompted the Loakan airport to be closed to commercial air transport but remained open to chartered and military flights./Dexter A. See