Aerial shot of the San Vicente Airport runway. (Photo by Celeste Anna R. Formoso)

PUERTO PRINCESA CITY, Palawan — The branch manager of the Philippine Airlines’ (PAL) local office here said the recently opened airport in San Vicente town, southern Palawan, will be added to the four new domestic points the airline will service from Clark International Airport (CIA) in Pampanga.

In an interview with the local media on Tuesday, Joel Paredes said the San Vicente Airport (SVA) was included in the airline’s new domestic points due to the number of foreign and domestic tourists that want to visit the town and El Nido.

He said beginning October 28, a PAL flight will leave the CIA at 7:30 a.m. and will arrive at the SVA at 9:10 a.m. It will fly back to Clark at 11:20 a.m.

Paredes said the addition of the SVA in the domestic points of PAL will result to more tourism developments and increased arrivals in San Vicente, an emerging travel and leisure hub in the northern part of the province.

“In the near future, like what they say, it’s the next Boracay because it has a beautiful white beach but it has to be really developed,” he said.

He said the route will be serviced by their 86-seater Bombardier Q400 that has a spacious layout.

Paredes added that property owners in San Vicente can take advantage of the opening of the airport by setting up businesses that cater to tourists.

He said a local transport service terminal should also open to ferry guests to destinations in the town and to El Nido.

James Inawasan, the municipal administrator of San Vicente, said earlier that the opening on May 10 of the SVA is expected to bring in 100,000 tourists this year.

“San Vicente’s tourist arrival has been increasing in the past three years, and now that it’s been opened for commercial operation, we’re expecting to log in around 100,000 foreign and domestic tourists,” he said.

San Vicente is a first-class municipality situated on the northwestern side of the main island of Palawan.

It is the first “Flagship Tourism Enterprise Zone” of the Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA), which is home to a 14-kilometer white beach popularly known as “Long Beach,” and 22 islands and islets that boast of pristine blue waters and swimming coves. (PNA)

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