Philippine Airlines will resume a long-awaited service between Manila and Tagbilaran City on May 17, 2002, providing a first-ever direct jet link to the tourist island of Bohol.
The service will initially operate three times a week, with departures from Manila every Tuesday, Friday and Sunday at 3:00 p.m. Arrival in Tagbilaran is at 4:15 p.m.
The return flight departs Tagbilaran on the same days at 5:00 p.m., arriving in Manila at 6:15 p.m.
PAL will deploy Boeing 737-300 jetliners, configured in a 148-seat monoclass layout, on the route.
The last time PAL flew to Tagbilaran, on February 15, 1999, it did so using a Fokker 50 turbo-propeller airplane - one of the final flights of this aircraft type before its retirement from the flag carrier’s fleet.
PAL had served the Bohol capital for 53 years with small, propeller-powered airplanes because the runway there could not accommodate bigger jet aircraft.
The recent lengthening of the runway to 1,800 meters presaged PAL’s return to Tagbilaran, this time upgraded to jet-level efficiency and comfort.
Passengers on the route will immediately benefit from the deployment of the twin-jet B737-300 in terms of expanded seating and cargo capacity, as well as reduced travel time.
The 148-seater jetliner accommodates more than two and a half times the passenger load of the 54-seater Fokker 50. It also significantly cuts flying time to and from Tagbilaran from the previous two hours to one hour and 15 minutes.
The PAL service is expected to boost commerce and tourism to Bohol, one of the country’s anchor destinations.
Tagbilaran becomes PAL’s 18th domestic destination out of Manila and its first new domestic point in three years. Virtually all of the flag carrier’s recent expansion has been in the international sector, with nine overseas destinations added since 2000.