(Photo courtesy of Philippine Airlines)

MANILA – Flag carrier Philippine Airlines (PAL) announced Wednesday it will launch services between Baguio and Cebu beginning Dec. 16.

"This will be PAL's comeback to the very first destination (it) served nearly 82 years ago, so we are happy to be flying back to where it all started,” PAL president Stanley Ng said in a statement.

The four weekly flights are scheduled as follows:

Flight PR 2230 Cebu-Baguio - every Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday at 8:50 a.m., arriving at Baguio Loakan Airport at 10:50 a.m.

PR 2231 Baguio-Cebu - every Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday departing at 11:10 a.m., arriving in Cebu at 1 p.m.

PAL Express officer-in-charge Rabbi Ang said the direct flights will enable those in Central Visayas to fly to Northern Luzon in two hours. This omits the hassle of booking multiple connecting trips by land or air.

The direct service is also seen to further boost domestic tourism, especially during the holiday season.

PAL will be using a De Havilland Dash 8 Series 400 Next Generation aircraft for the new route.

PAL’s first flight as a newly incorporated airline was a Manila-Baguio service flown out of Neilson Airport on March 15, 1941. The Beechcraft Model 18 plane had five passengers to Baguio City.

Ng, meanwhile, lauded aviation authorities for upgrading the Loakan Airport, saying PAL will work with the government to ensure the new services will be a success.

From Cebu, PAL also operates to other cities across the country, as well as to Tokyo, Japan. (PNA)