GENERAL SANTOS CITY – Tigerair, the sister company of Cebu Pacific, Inc. (Cebu Pacific) has started to fly to General Santos City from Manila.
Following its maiden flight on Friday afternoon, November 28, Tigerair will start flying 5 times a week. This will make the average number of daily flights serving the city to 6, and will accommodate more than 1,000 passengers flying out daily of General Santos City.
Like Cebu Pacific, it will also offer budget fares, with the lowest one-way ticket starting at P2,008 ($44.78*).
“Tigeriar looks forward to offering additional flight and destination options for its guests,” Tigerair legal and corporate affairs chief Leilani de Leon said.
Department of Tourism Regional Director Nelly Nita Dillera said Tigerair’s entry into the Manila-General Santos City route will augur well for the province.
“It will boost the local economy and provide additional facilities for connectivity,” Dillera said.
Tigerair will use the Airbus 320 aircraft which has a capacity of 180 passengers.
Air passenger hub
Philippine Airlines is already serving the Manila-General Santos City route using an Airbus 330-300.
Cebu Pacific has been serving the route as well, while Air Asia is expected to fly daily to General Santos City soon.
General Santos City became the hub of air passenger traffic following the entry of budget airlines that competed against super ferries, which eventually stopped navigating the Manila-General Santos City sea route.
The entry of budget airlines in the province has boosted tourism in the SOCCSKSARGEN region with a total of 1.67 million arrivals from January to September.
Passenger traffic is seen to increase to more than 1,600 a day during the Christmas season, General Santos City Airport administration officer Dante Fernandez said.
To date, the Department of Transportation and Communications has already submitted a P900-million ($20.06 million) budget for the proposed new airport terminal building in General Santos.
The airport, funded by an USAID grant, was built in 1993 and started operated commercially in 1996.
The airport also boasted having the longest airport runway outside of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) with more than 3,000 meters of all-weather taxiway. – Rappler.com
*$1 = P44.85
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