Top Philippine beach and island destinations like El Nido and Coron in Palawan, Gigantes in Iloilo, Panglao in Bohol, and Kalanggaman in Leyte will soon be minutes away with the opening of Air Juan seaplane flights from Cebu.
Air Juan President John Gutierrez led the unveiling of the company’s seaplane terminal located at Filinvest’s South Road Properties on January 20, 2018. Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña was the guest of honor during the ribbon-cutting ceremony.
He said they plan to start flight services from the seaplane terminal to the country’s most beautiful destinations within the first quarter of the year. These also include such places as Sumilon in Oslob, Malapascua, Candijay in Anda, and Lakawon.
Air Juan flights
Air Juan seaplane services from Cebu will supplement landplane services started last June 2017. Beginning in the middle of last year, Air Juan opened scheduled flights from Mactan International Airport to Bantayan, Biliran, Maasin, Sipalay, Siquijor, and Tagbilaran.
Gutierrez said they will soon fly to Catbalogan as well. The Air Juan fleet consists of six Cessna Grand Caravans, four of which are amphibious.
He added that the landplane can carry a maximum of 12 passengers while the seaplane can have as many as nine.
Air Juan does not compete with other airline companies but with the country’s ferry service.
“Biliran is a five-hour boat ride but Air Juan reduces the travel time to 45 minutes,” according to Gutierrez.
He added that their landplane rates are competitive with ferry fares but seaplane flights are slightly more expensive. The average one-way fare from the Mactan, Cebu airport to Tagbilaran, for example, is from P1,500 to P2,500, while ferries charge around P800.
“We’re not a budget airline but the most convenient. You can’t put a price on a person’s time,” Gutierrez said, citing that they can do in around 20 minutes the four to five hours land travel to Kandaya Resort in Daanbantayan.
SRP seaplane terminal
Air Juan already has hubs in Manila, Cebu, and Puerto Princesa in Palawan. While Cebu services were started last year, Air Juan operated flights out of Palawan starting four years ago.
Gutierrez said they are targeting not just foreign guests but also locals for Air Juan land and sea flights.
The seaplane terminal in SRP will provide travellers with the most convenient way to island hop, he pointed. He promised that Air Juan scheduled flights will take off even with only one passenger.