Under a new partnership, the Foundation and SkyJet will jointly promote eco-tourism sites in the Philippines. According to SkyJet President Joel Mendoza, the agreement will enable the airline to fly “high-end” tourists to new tourism destinations as early as September of this year.
SkyJet Airlines is planning a modest fleet expansion to raise the number of aircraft in its fleet up to five aircraft within the next three to five years and a new partnership with the ABS-CBN Foundation will support the airline in its quest for growth.
Mendoza recently called upon the Department of Tourism and tourism stakeholders across the country to pool resources to promote more destinations in the country particularly the less known places. He said that the Department of Tourism must expand its marketing efforts beyond Boracay and Palawan in order to help new destinations develop.
The Foundation responded to Mendoza’s call to action through this partnership that will enable the airline to bring tourism to the untapped areas of the country while improving lives in the communities. It’s an advocacy that Mendoza said the airline is committed to. The airline and foundation will work together to develop destinations and explore new sites under the Green Initiative Project.
According to the Foundation’s Managing Director Gina Lopez, the Green Initiative Project aims to protect and preserve the environment while harnessing resources and potential to uplift the lives of less fortunate communities through livelihood and agricultural programs. Such a vision is shared by SkyJet’s aim to promote cultural tourism and conserve the environment through collaborated efforts between private sector and governments.
“There is no single person or institution that can bring this country forward,” said Lopez. “But if there are many institutions and people that believe in their heart that this is the way to go and commit to it – in truth, in service and the common good – I have no doubt in my mind that our country is going to see a brilliant future ahead.”
The ABS-CBN Foundation and SkyJet will begin this new partnership in Tablas in Romblon. Once Tablas is established, the Foundation looks forward to exploring more potential tourist destinations under the Green Initiative project and that is welcome news for SkyJet. “We will be able to introduce Tablas in Romblon as another alternative tourism route for tourists,” said Mendoza. “There are other areas in the country that we need to promote as tourism destinations.”
“We are not here to compete with big airlines, we are here to complement them,” said Mendoza. “There is a great imbalance in our tourism industry and we would like to help address this imbalance by servicing areas not being served by big airlines.” According to Mendoza, by serving niche destinations irrespective of passenger traffic, SkyJet can set a goal to contribute to the Philippine economy by providing a badly needed boost to local tourism while simultaneously advocating for the preservation of natural resources and cultural heritage.
SkyJet’s British Aerospace aircraft features short take-off and landing ability that enables it to tackle short runways that traditional jet aircraft cannot access. It is well suited to many of the remote and undeveloped destinations with unimproved runways in the country. SkyJet currently services Basco, Busuanga, and Virac. The airline will be expanding to Surigao in August.
The province of Romblon is home to Sibuyan Island, the world’s densest forest. According to Mendoza, SkyJet will now be able to make Romblon more accessible to tourists. Fil-Asian Airways, the newest entrant to the Philippine market recently announced that it was restoring air service to Romblon with direct service between Manila and Tablas aboard a YS-11 aircraft beginning later this month.