Direct flights between Laoag and Cebu are expected to start in May in time for Ilocos Norte’s month-long fiesta celebration.
Provincial tourism officer Aianree Raquel confirmed this in an interview Friday after the president of Philippine Airlines (PAL) Stanley Ng visited Ilocos Norte recently.
“As of the moment, we are finalizing our collaboration with PAL for the start of Laoag-Cebu direct flights,” Raquel said, noting that the proposed direct flights between Laoag and Cebu would connect this northern gateway of Luzon to the Central Visayas region for business and tourism.
Even in pre-pandemic times, the Provincial Tourism Office reported that they have been constantly receiving inquiries should the airlines consider adding new flights, such as for the Laoag-Cebu route.
In 2011, then-Ilocos Norte governor and now Senator Ma. Imelda Josefa “Imee” Marcos and Cebu Governor Gwendolyn Garcia signed a sister-province agreement between Ilocos Norte and Cebu.
To date, there are two options to travel to Ilocos Norte from Cebu: Fly to Manila and catch a connecting flight to Laoag or take a flight from Cebu to Clark in Pampanga and then ride a bus for approximately eight hours to Laoag.
Meanwhile, a tourism booth promoting summer travel deals and home-grown products of Ilocos Norte is at the World Trade Center in Pasay City during the Philippine Councilors League national convention from March 9 to 11. (PNA)