The Department of Foreign Affairs‘ Consul General to Hong Kong Noel Servigon saw a challenge in sustaining international flights accommodated by the Iloilo Airport of international standards.
The Department of Tourism-6 said the Iloilo Airport will start accommodating international flights to Hongkong and Singapore in November this year and is equipped with runway lights and instrument landing system which can support low visibility and night landings. Airport specific details showed that its 45-meter-wide, 2,500-meter long runway has been built to support aircraft as large as the Boeing 787 and the Airbus A330.
Servigon said there may be many passengers from Iloilo to Hong Kong but it is not sure whether there will be many from there back to Iloilo.
This was admitted by DOT-6 Dir. Helen Catalbas when she said that tourism is a big factor in sustaining the international flights, because they cannot rely on the overseas Filipino workers alone, which are seasonal flyers.
Servigon said that according to the latest data from the Hong Kong Immigration Department, there were about 144,553 Filipino domestic workers there.
Catalbas said the tourism stakeholders in Iloilo are working hard to create tourism packages and programs in preparation for the start of the international flights.
DOT-6 said it is organizing sales missions to Hong Kong and Singapore to promote the city and the province.
She added the tourism boards of Hong Kong and Singapore will be in Iloilo by middle of September to promote travel to their respective places.
Meanwhile, as Consul-General, Servigon said he is offering the services of his office to help promote this “welcome development” in Iloilo, which is a significant event both for the overseas Filipinos, seafarers and the tourism industry here.