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PAL goes maritime with Kalibo-Boracay ferry

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PASAY CITY – The Philippine Airlines (PAL) is venturing into maritime business, and will soon launch a ferry service between Kalibo and Boracay.

 

"This is the first time that PAL is venturing into maritime business," said Jaime Bautista, PAL president and chief operations officer. "We chose Boracay as the first destination because there are many tourists there, especially foreigners."

 

Bautista added that PAL chose Kalibo because of its international airport, where tourists from China, Japan, and Korea come and go, compared with the smaller Caticlan Airport.

 

Currently, PAL has two vessels – the MV Malambing and MV Magalang – and Bautista said the ferry service might be launched in December, according to a PNA report.

 

"Originally, we planned to launch the ferry service last April. But Boracay has been closed for rehabilitation for six months," he said.

 

The two catamarans, each with 410 seats, were customized for PAL.

 

"We already had these (catamarans) delivered to us back in April," Jose Perez de Tagle, vice president for Corporate Communications, said.

 

PAL executives, including its chairman, Lucio Tan, tested the two catamarans on Tuesday.

 

If PAL's ferry service would "click" with the public, PAL might add other routes for this.

 

"We will think about the next routes, if there would be any, depending on the demand. Probably we'd have the next route in Cebu," Bautista told the PNA.

 

It took about two years to plan the new offering, the executive added.

 

PAL's ferry basically looks and has the vibe of its aircraft.

 

Bautista said anyone, even passengers of other airlines, would be allowed to book the ferry service.

 

There's no price yet for the ferry service, de Tagle said, adding that PAL will announce this once the pricing had been finalized.

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