BORNGAN, March 9, 2018–A new airline is set to fly to Borongan City soon.
MGen. Gilbert Llanto, Chairman of ACDI (Aviation Cadet Development Inc)said that they will ply the Borongan-Cebu-Borongan route starting April 28, thru their subsidiary, Leascor, which handles the air charter operations of ACDI.
According to Llanto, they have two 50-seater Fokker 50 aircraft that will be used for the twice a week flight schedule. ACDI will be operating regular commercial flights, not chartered flights. They have pegged the plane fare at P3,000 for one way.
MGen Llanto said that for the initial flights, they are hoping for at least 40 seats booked for every flight, and then maybe after three months, all seats will be filled.
Llanto said that if Eastern Samar can “generate the traffic, we can increase flight frequency”. “We intend to bring in travel operators from Cebu so they can also get passengers from there to increase takeout of tickets in and out of Borongan”.
Acting Governor Marcelo Ferdinand Picardal said that to support ACDI develop the market, the provincial government will help promote and market their operation.
He said that these will not be chartered flights and the provincial government has not allocated funds to subsidize the flights to Borongan or pay for empty seats.
Travel and tour operators, hotel owners and businessmen in the province will also be asked to help.
ACDI is a multi-purpose cooperative composed of active and retired members of the armed forces, engaged in lending and general services, agribusiness, aviation school and air charter operations.
Prior to the first revenue flight, they will already be flying their aircraft with CAAP for a series of evaluation checks. Their pilots are now undergoing simulation training.
The opening of the Borongan-Cebu route will be a big boost to the province’s efforts in promoting the tourism industry which is seen as a big economic driver, and one of the strategies to reduce poverty incidence in Eastern Samar.
The maiden flight of ACDI will coincide with the “Kuracha mardi gras”, a tourism initiative that aims to draw in thousands of tourists this summer.
ACDI is also looking at the possibility of a Guiuan-Cebu and Borongan-Clark flights, if such routes are determined to be commercially viable. (Eden Cidro/Este News)