With its flights to Virac set to start April 16, airline industry newcomer Skyjet is offering a special fare to residents of Catanduanes to enable them to enjoy what it describes as “international flight service on a domestic carrier.”
Skyjet president and chief executive officer Dr. Joel Mendoza, who led a team to meet local resort operators and travel agencies, said that while tickets are now being sold on-line at P2,000 per route for its Tuesday-Thursday-Saturday schedule as a promotion until April 30, the cost of each ticket would probably range between P3,500 to P4,000.
Catandunganons would have to book at ticket agents and present their ID to enjoy the special, all-in fare of P3,000 complete with snacks, compared to the P6,000 price of one-way tickets sold by Skyjet’s competitor. Skyjet will also reserve at least 10 seats on each flight for senior citizens, whom he noted constitute majority of the present air commuters to and from Virac.
Mendoza said Skyjet’s 94-seater, four-engine British Aerospace 146-200 is quieter and can load up to 3,000 kilograms of cargo. The fledgling airline, which now flies to Batanes and Busuanga, also allows 7 kilos per handcarried luggage and another 10 for cargo. The seat layout also favors medical passengers and persons with disabilities, he added, while the larger cargo hold ensures none of its passenger’s baggage will be left behind.
“We will be bringing travel writers and travel operators from Manila on our inaugural flight,” he disclosed, as Skyjet wants to promote Virac as a viable alternate route to the popular Caramoan destination in Camarines Sur. He asked the provincial government to provide Skyjet with a video of Catanduanes destinations that would be shown in SM mall theatres courtesy of the airline. Promotional materials would likewise be placed in Skyjet flights to Batanes and Busuanga prior to the Virac flights.
The airline is also offering a special rate to local resort operators, who will be allowed to book complete tour packages to their potential clients. “Tourists want hassle-free travel complete with tickets, room and board, and airport transfers,” Dr. Mendoza stressed.