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Flights of fancy: Charter a seaplane to Boracay for P320k or chopper to El Nido for P500k

By PINKY S. ICAMEN Published May 25, 2021 9:48 pm Updated May 26, 2021 2:51 pm

When you think of chartering an aircraft, privacy, convenience and luxury come to mind. But in the time of the pandemic, chartering a plane or a helicopter springs another advantage for travelers who can afford to do so—safety.

Charter flights are considered hassle-free and flexible alternatives to commercial airlines. Recently, in line with the NCR Plus’ transition to general community quarantine (GCQ) with heightened restrictions, the Department of Tourism allowed the implementation of “specialized markets” that include Point-to-Point (P2P) air travel for leisure purposes and staycation program subject to the observance of minimum public health standards.

The administrative order allows P2P air travel from NCR Plus to a resort under GCQ or modified general community quarantine provided that such travel will be done via a chartered flight, which may involve short private transfers by land or sea.

The convenience and safety that most charter flights give obviously comes with a hefty price tag.

Most aviation companies that offer charter flights have their own hangars and terminals, which eliminate the airport experience and trim down the number of people passengers interact with.

Hate that you need to get to the airport two hours before your flight? With some charter companies, since they have their own terminals, you only need to be there 15 minutes (others 10!) before your flight.

So if you are looking to kick-start your wanderlust (with all your travel money sleeping in the bank), check out these aviation companies that will fly you safely—and in style.

AirTaxi.ph

AirTaxi.ph's Pilatus PC-12 NG aircraft that shuttles travelers between Manila and Cebu. Photo from www.instagram.com/airtaxi.ph

AirTaxi.ph offers more than just convenience and safety for travelers with its private shuttle flights. It also provides a range of options from its featured banner destinations.

With safety as one of the top priorities of travelers in this pandemic, it is important to note that AirTaxi.ph has its own private hangar and terminal at the Manila International Airport Complex in Pasay City, where one can check in even 15 minutes before the flight and enjoy its private lounge and facilities.

AirTaxi.ph requires its passengers to show a medical certificate and a negative COVID-19 test, which can be done at its facilities prior to the flight.

It currently offers scheduled private shuttle flights between popular destinations in the country, with its aircraft accommodating a limited number of passengers.

AirTaxi.ph also offers Bubble Flights with all-in packages, which include round-trip flights, airport pickup and drop off, resort accommodation (options of three nights’ stay or four nights’ stay), resort discounts and more.

From Manila, AirTaxi.ph services Bubble Flights to the following resorts with its Pilatus PC-12 NG VIP plane that can accommodate up to eight passengers comfortably:

  • Shangri-La Mactan Cebu (P246,000 per couple, Veranda Suite)
  • Shangri-La Boracay (P231,000 per couple, Treehouse Villa)
  • Crimson Boracay (P204,000 per couple, Signature Beachfront Villa with Plunge Pool)

AirTaxi.ph also has an Executive Shuttle with weekly flights from Manila to Mactan also on a Pilatus PC-12 NG. Passengers of the Executive Shuttle can share the trip with other passengers but get the same service as those who are chartering the whole plane. For this flight to proceed, a minimum of six confirmed passengers is required.

One can buy a seat for about P38,000 one way, which includes 15kg. baggage. Rather than chartering a whole plane, which could cost about P600,000 from Manila to Cebu, hopping in the Executive Shuttle is a more economical way to fly for those who can afford, of course.

Check out AirTaxi.ph for more information.

AirTrav

Do you remember Xian Lim’s surprise Valentine’s Day date with Kim Chiu in Boracay? How about the recent fun family beach trip of Anne Curtis and Solenn Heussaff?

They got there via AirTrav.ph on board seaplanes that bring travelers straight to the shores of favorite destinations in the country including Boracay, El Nido, Coron and Puerto Galera.

AirTrav seaplanes can accommodate a maximum of eight passengers, with socially distanced seats, spacious enough to let you fly safely and in comfort.

On its website are estimated rates based on one-way fares:

  • Puerto Galera – P10,000
  • Boracay – P18,000
  • Busuanga – P18,000
  • El Nido – P26,000

Meanwhile, travelers can book AirTrav’s exclusive flights to destinations anywhere in the Philippines with the following estimated charter rates:

  • Busuanga – P323,680
  • Boracay – P323,680
  • Puerto Galera – P171,360

With the ever-changing rules of travel, as of this writing seaplanes dock at different points, like in Puerto Galera, it’s at Friday’s Puerto Galera pontoon; while in Boracay, it is required to land in Caticlan. Travel requirements vary with every destination.

AirTrav has also partnered with resorts like Flower Island in El Nido, Club Paradise Palawan, and Crimson Boracay with accommodation packages.

For more information, visit AirTrav.ph.

PhilJets

If planes are not your thing, ride a helicopter to your destination, perhaps?

In the Philippines, PhilJets offers different tours that bring you to your destination of choice—from Balesin to Coron—in comfort, safety, and reliably.

With its helicopters—which range from three- to five-seater (single engine) and eight-seater (twin engine)—the company provides experiences more than just dropping off and picking up its passengers.

If you want a quick trip to Tagaytay minus the traffic and the hassle, PhilJets has a “Tagaytay Lunch Experience” with its restaurant partners Antonio’s, Sonya’s Garden and Chateau Hestia that starts from P82,992 (for three persons) up to P119,840 (for five persons). Prices do not include meals at the said restaurants. The lunch experience also includes is an aerial tour of Taal Volcano.

There are also “Relaxation and Nature” destinations to Infinity Resort and Spa in Puerto Galera (from P93,632 to P150,640) and The Farm at San Benito in Batangas (from P82,992 to P119,840).

For its beach destinations, the rates are based on one-way fare (drop-off or pickup) from its own hangar beside the NAIA Terminal 4 in Pasay City and does not include accommodations:

  • Balesin – From P104,832 (three pax) to P154,000 (five pax)
  • Baler – From P128,352 (three pax) to P201,600 (five pax)
  • El Nido – P506,800 (five pax)
  • Boracay – From P191,072 (three pax) to P336,467 (five pax)
  • Coron – P312,667 (five pax)

PhilJets promises its passengers to be onboard the aircraft in 10 minutes with shortened and swift check-in procedure.

Visit PhilJets for more information.

Thumbnail photo from AirTrav's Instagram page