As a result of new runway rules imposed by the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) at the Caticlan airport, Cebu Pacific and Philippine Airlines starting Thursday have diverted all their Caticlan-bound flights to Kalibo, Aklan. The diversion is estimated to add at least one hour to the trip to Boracay.
This leaves Southeast Asian Airlines (Seair) as the only airline flying directly to and from Caticlan since its smaller planes continue to comply with the more stringent runway rules.
Another airline, ZestAir, has earlier diverted all its Caticlan flights to Kalibo after one of its planes overshot the runway on June 25.
The CAAP has imposed restrictions on Caticlan, classifying it as a one-way airport requiring takeoffs to face towards the sea and landings in the opposite direction.
For affected PAL and Cebu Pacific passengers bound for Boracay, they will be bused free of charge for the 50-kilometer trip from Kalibo to Caticlan prior to taking the ferry to Boracay. This arrangement will most probably be in effect only for those passengers who have already booked their tickets. The cost of the Kalibo to Caticlan bus trip will be added to the ticket price for future bookings.
More on this story in this Saksi report by Vicky Morales courtesy of GMANews.tv:
By way of background information, this is the News on Q report by Rhea Santos on that ZestAir plane that overshot the Caticlan airport runway on June 25: