MANILA — The Department of Tourism (DOT) on Wednesday welcomed United Airlines’ upcoming non-stop flights between Manila and San Francisco starting October 2023, noting the growing inbound flights into the country.
“At present, United flies to Manila from Guam and Palau. Once the flights between Manila and San Francisco become operational, the airline will be the first American carrier to fly direct to Manila from continental US in a long while,” the DOT said in a statement.
The agency said the Philippines continues to record more inbound flights as tourism recovers from the pandemic.
Based on the DOT’s Routes Development report for June 2023, eight of the country’s international gateways saw a significant growth in terms of incoming frequencies and seats per week.
Between June and July 2023, the country welcomed 58 new incoming weekly frequencies or flights from various origin cities into the country’s international gateways.
The DOT reports the following incoming weekly frequencies in June and July:
Manila (seven Zip Air from Tokyo, and two Air China flights from Chengdu)
Cebu (seven China Eastern Airlines flights from Shanghai, four Philippine Air Asia flights from Tokyo, two Cebu Pacific from Taipei, and an increase from five to seven Asiana Airlines flights from Incheon)
Bohol (two Asiana Airlines and seven Air Busan flights from Seoul)
Kalibo (three flights from Hangzhou, three flights from Ningbo, and three flights from Wenzhou via Loong Air, four Ok Airways from Chengdu, and two TigerAir Taiwan from Taipei)
Clark (seven Asiana Airlines flights from Seoul)
Caticlan (three Royal Airways flights from Hong Kong)
Cagayan North (two Royal Airway flights from Macau).
In addition to commercial flights, the DOT also welcomed various charter flights that support the country's destinations.
Increase in domestic air seats
In domestic tourism, the DOT also noted a significant jump in domestic connectivity in the country’s tourism gateways.
The industry gained from at least 17 city pairs, with about 83 incoming weekly frequencies that were launched between July 1, 2022 to June 30, 2023.
This includes new domestic air routes that were instituted during this period, including flights between Cebu-Baguio (four frequencies per week), Cebu-Borongan (two frequencies per week), and Cebu-Naga (four frequencies per week).
Among the domestic flights that resumed in the same period include Clark to Bacolod, Busuanga, Cagayan de Oro, Caticlan, Davao, Iloilo, General Santos, and Puerto Princesa and vice versa; Manila to Tablas, and Lal-o (vice versa); Davao to Bacolod, Cagayan de Oro, and Siargao, and vice versa; and Zamboanga to Cotabato (v.v.).
“With the DOT's Philippine Experience Program and regional travel expos, we are optimistic that our stakeholders, particularly from the aviation industry will see the need to improve connectivity around the country to cater to the growing demands of our travelers," Tourism Secretary Christina Frasco said. (PNA)