January 22, 2006

Honolulu-Laoag flight reopening eyed

With the sister-state ties between Ilocos Norte and Hawaii strengthened further by the recent visit of Hawaii Governor Linda Lingle to the province, Ilocos Norte Governor Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. sees the reopening of the direct flights of the Honolulu-Laoag route soon.

The route’s reopening came about after the successful staging of the Sakada Centennial Celebration last December.

The direct flight from Hawaii to the Laoag International Airport (LIA) was opened in 1995 and was serviced by Philippine Airlines (PAL) but was later abandoned due to lack of passengers and poor airport facilities.

But with the current influx of tourists and balikbayans to the province from Hawaii, Marcos said he would meet with airline officials about the possibility of reopening the direct flight.

Lingle, during her visit, said she would also push for the reopening of the direct flights upon her return to Hawaii as she noted that a large bulk of her state’s population comes from the Ilocos region.

Currently, balikbayans and tourists heading to the Ilocos region have to take a connecting flight to LIA from the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA). PAL services the Laoag-Manila route four times weekly.

Leilanie G. Adriano

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