TAGBILARAN CITY, June 7 (PIA)--So how do you like a vacation with an air service that picks you from your closest airport to that dream island too far from any commercial runway?
There is now a seaplane offered by the country's pioneering company that provides fast and efficient hassle-free air service to less-chartered destinations.
And for tourists and Bohol businessmen, this just might be a tempting offer boosting Bohol's allure to the world.
The seaplanes offered by AirJuan, a duly licensed scheduled airline accredited by the country's tourism department, are Cessna Grand Caravan Amphibians which are brand new nine-seater versatile and reliable aircraft that can take off and land on short runways or the sea, according to AirJuan President John Gutierrez a few minutes after a 20-minute flyby and sea-landing near Alona Beach in Panglao on June 7.
At the inaugural flight to announce the opening of their 20-minute flight options for Tagbilaran-Mactan route, Gutierrez said they have applied for twice daily trips to and from Tagbilaran and offers the air service starting June 19.
With today's time conscious tourists and businessmen needing valuable time, a plane service that cuts Tagbilaran-Cebu-Tagbilaran to just twenty minutes from two hour fastcraft service plus allows passengers to skip from the long queues at airports almost guarantees on time performance in their flights.
"We are 95% on time, you can ask Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines," AirJuan Marketing Head Paolo Misa said. "Besides, most delays are caused by airport traffic," he added.
Opening the route at an introductory fare of P1,500 one way until the end of the year, the cost is a bit more than the fastcraft business class.
"If more people use it and we load our seats, we just might be able to keep the price," said Gutierrez, who added that they would introduce the Bohol routes with thrice weekly flights and weekend flights to Bohol from their Cebu South Reclamation Project docks, straight to Panglao.
AirJuan also serves other destinations like Puerto Princesa, Busuanga, El Nido, and Cuyo in Palawan, Caticlan, Subic, Baler in Aurora, Balesin in Quezon, Puerto Galera in Batangas, Marinduque, and Mamburao.
Also under their route radars are nearby island destinations like Bantayan, Malapascua, Calanggaman, Siquijor and Sicogon in Ilo-Ilo, Misa said.
The service can be brought straight close to a beach resort of choice so arriving hassle-free is an add-on, he added.
At the inaugural flight with Bohol tourism stakeholders on board, the Cessna flew for a scenic Panglao tour, less than 2,000 feet and then skimmed in front of Alona then took off again.
"We were set to do this in Alona to show we can bring tourists directly to the beaches," the first Filipino seaplane pilot Ian delos Reyes said during the post-flight product presentation.
Now accepting bookings via their newly opened 24/7 booking engine at www.airjuan.com, AirJuan Customer Service Specialist Glenda Corvera said they would also be inviting local online travel agents to help them fill the seats.
As this developed, passengers now have better chances of catching their connecting flights from Cebu, as a slight ill weather stops boat trips which are crucial links to a seamless travel in the region. (rahc/PIA-7/Bohol)