(SPOT.ph) One of Cebu’s most popular beach destinations will soon be easier to reach. Direct flights from the Mactan-Cebu International Airport makes a return as the Sta. Fe Bantayan Island Airport reopens in April—just in time for summer!
You can soon travel to Bantayan Island’s stretches of fine, white-sand beaches in just 20 to 30 minutes as Air Juan is slated to resume direct flights from Mactan-Cebu International Airport (MCIA), according to Mactan Cebu International Airport Authority General Manager Julius Neri Jr. This will be way easier than the usual alternative of a four to five hour transfer via bus and boat rides.
The Sta. Fe Bantayan Island Airport was in operation during the pandemic. After it underwent a runway expansion from 900 meters to 1,200 meters to accommodate larger planes, the airport was newly re-inaugurated on Wednesday, March 8.
Sta. Fe Bantayan Island Airport reopens for direct flights
In an interview with The Freeman, Neri said Air Juan will be offering flights from MCIA to Bantayan Island, while other airline groups are also looking to embark on this route.
"I'm told that in April, Air Juan will start flying again from Cebu," Neri said in the interview. "They used to do two times a week, so I think they will resume twice a week."
He brought up the same setup Air Juan had to and from Bantayan Island in 2020 before it stopped operations, which operated using a 12-seater plane at that time. However, another report from The Freeman said Air Juan will be using three Fokker planes with a capacity of 80 passengers this time around.
Sugbo.ph pegs prices for Air Juan from MCIA to Sta. Fe Bantayan Island Airport at P1,288 for a one-way flight and P2,576 for a round trip, but there’s no price confirmation from the airline as of writing. We can likely expect flight costs and schedules to be announced next month once Air Juan's operations start.
Once the Sta. Fe Bantayan Island Airport becomes fully commercial, Neri said it is also possible for it to serve direct flights from Manila.
According to the Department of Tourism, Santa Fe in Bantayan Island made up 134,770 of Cebu’s 540,290 foreign tourists in 2022. Once up and running, the airport is expected bring back one million annual tourists, which will revive and spur development in Bantayan Island’s economy.
“We’ll be shooting up like jet-propelled airplanes to tell not just the country but the rest of the world: ‘Watch out, Bantayan is here,’” Cebu Governor Gwendolyn Garcia said in her speech.