Loong Air resumes direct flights between Hangzhou and Kalibo

Chinese airline, Loong Air, celebrated its return to Kalibo International Airport on Friday, with the touchdown of its direct flight from Hangzhou, China.

An Airbus A320neo of Loong Air arrives at Kalibo International Airport on Friday afternoon. Photo from CAAP Area VI via Facebook.

The arrival marks the recommencement of regular commercial flights between the two cities, providing a convenient travel option for tourists keen to explore the globally acclaimed island paradise of Boracay.

The flight, scheduled to operate thrice a week on Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays, was greeted with a traditional water salute upon landing, symbolizing a heartfelt welcome back.

Aboard the Airbus A320neo aircraft, Loong Air flight GJ-8289 departs from Hangzhou at 9:45 AM (UTC+8) and arrives in Kalibo at 1:45 PM (UTC+8). The return flight, GJ-8290, departs from Kalibo at 2:45 PM and arrives back in Hangzhou at 6:25 PM.

Back in June 2023, Loong Air initiated direct air services from Kalibo to three Chinese destinations: Hangzhou, Ningbo, and Wenzhou. This followed the airline's initial chartered flight in April that year, which transported 180 Chinese tourists.

The revival of these flights is timely, as the Philippines is preparing for the peak summer season. Boracay, renowned for its immaculate beaches and lively nightlife, continues to be a premier tourist destination, drawing in travelers from across the globe.

In Kalibo, Chinese tourists represent the majority of foreign arrivals, with a record of 434,175 tourists. This makes China the leading source of foreign arrivals in the city. The resumption of these flights is expected to further boost tourism in the region, contributing to local economies and fostering cultural exchange.