Manila - Baler flights starts February 17

Regular flights between Manila and Baler, Aurora will start February 17, a landmark event for a province that has been synonymous with remoteness and isolation.

The provincial government, major bus operator Genesis Transport Services Inc., and Southeast Asian Airlines (SEAIR) have linked up to put in place the plane service, which is expected to dramatically boost the province's economy, said Governor Bella Angara-Castillo.

Under an agreement, Genesis Transport Sea Air, will charter planes from SEAIR, an airline with a solid record in the domestic service. SEAIR will make available 19-seater planes to serve the pioneering run.

The service will initially offer two flights a week, with departures at 8:00 am every Mondays and Fridays from the Manila Domestic Terminal. The flights from Baler Airport will be at 9:30 am also on Mondays and Fridays. One-way fare has been set at P2,500, inclusive of VAT, passenger insurance and other charges.

Genesis Transport will handle all ground components and related services. Genesis Transport is the only regular air-con bus operator between Manila and Baler.

Transportation and Communications Secretary Leandro Mendoza and other prominent names in government and private sector have been invited to grace the launch of the first flight from Manila Domestic Terminal to Baler on February 17 in simple rites at the Baler Airport.

Senator Edgardo Angara, a Baler native and his son, Rep. Juan Edgardo Angara, will also witness the landmark transport event. The two have been staunch supporters of the airline service and other transport initiatives for the province.

"The February event will literally be a new dawn for us. Regular plane flights will bolster tourism, travel and trace and the benefits that would accrue to the province and its people would be immense," said Governor Bella Angara-Castillo.

Genesis Transport said that the air service will be a major complement to its air-con bus service. The major bus operator said the air service and land transport complement each other, more so in a remote area like Aurora.

"Those who want to fly in and out of baler have the option of air travel, those who want a leisurely but comfortably and reliable travel into Aurora can take Genesis buses," said Sundance Apolinario, Genesis manager for air travel.

Aurora is a province high up in the Sierra Madre, known for its remoteness and spectacular beauty.

It is one of the few provinces in the country with a substantial stand of old-growth forest, wondrous natural diversity and beautiful beaches. It is one of the few provinces with surfing sites and world-class diving spots.

The lady governor said that local and foreign tourists will now have an additional reason to visit Aurora, whose natural sites are unrivalled in the Luzon area.

"It is Luzon's last environmental frontier," it is a province of history and beauty," said Governor Castillo.

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