By Dave S. Albarado
Tagbilaran City – Two airline companies are interested in making Bohol an international hub once the new Bohol airport opens next year.
The provincial capitol’s Effective Development Communication Unit (EDCOM) reported over the weekend that Air Asia’s chief executive officer, Capt. Dexter Comendador, relayed to Bohol Gov. Edgar Chatto the airline’s plan during the opening of the Philippine Travel Mart in Pasay City last week.
Ven Arigo of EDCOM said countries like Malaysia, China, Japan and Hong Kong want to open flights to the new airport.
Bohol will become a jump-off point for other tourist destinations in the Visayas.
Air Asia is the second airline interested in using the new airport as an international hub.
Philippine Airlines (PAL) also wants to add international flights to Bohol through the new airport.
PAL already has daily flights between Incheon in South Korea and the Tagbilaran City airport.
Chatto said the new airport will be a 24/7 terminal that can handle the increase of flights to Bohol.
This November, PAL will start its Davao-Tagbilaran-Davao flights and by Christmas time, there will be Tagbilaran-Clark-Tagbilaran flights, said Chatto.
The New Bohol Airport is expected to be completed in March 2018.
The report from the Capitol said Air Asia shares the government’s vision to develop destination hubs in the country to spur economic growth in the countryside and decongest major urban centers.
Comendador will meet with Chatto to discuss the establishment of a terminal for the budget airline company.
Chatto said Air Asia’s plan will have a tremendous economic impact on Bohol. The province has been able to push down the poverty level from nearly 50 percent in the early 2000s to just about 21 percent today.