Mayor Tomas Osmeña believes that the services of Air Juan, a seaplane operator, in Cebu will boost the city’s tourism industry.  Air Juan launched its first seaplane services yesterday.  Tristran Laput

Seaplane service at SRP starts operation
Jean Marvette A. Demecillo (The Freeman) - January 21, 2018 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines — Seaplane operator Air Juan has launched its first seaplane services in Cebu City yesterday with a vow to let foreign and local tourists experience a convenient inter-island trips.

During the launching ceremony, Mayor Tomas Osmeña congratulated and welcomed the development as the services would help promote the city’s tourism industry as well as the travel destinations.

“This is very convenient and this service will make our SRP (South Road Properties) much more competitive,” he said.

The seaplane’s floating dock is located at the coastal area of Il Corso, a Filinvest Inc. property.

Osmeña believed that the services will further be expanded once the 8.25-kilometer Cebu-Cordova Bridge will be completed three years from now.

He also mentioned the upcoming P18-billion investment at SRP where a hotel, casino, and other world-class facilities will be developed.

“To ride a seaplane is more expensive than the commercial planes but if you think of it, from SRP to Panglao, it will only take 20 minutes,” he added.

Several people have tried the services yesterday with a fare of P1,000 for a 10 to 15-minute ride.

As of now, Air Juan President John Gutierrez said  they will cater destinations from SRP to Malapascua Island, Sumilon Island, Kalanggaman Island, Gigantes, Lakawon, Camotes, Panglao, and Anda in Bohol in the first quarter of the year.

“We are not a budget airline. As a matter of fact, we are the most expensive out there but we are the most convenient,” he said.

Gutierrez said he is targeting to have a full-blown operation in March this year. But he said people can now book a flight and fly with Air Juan after the launching.

He admitted that the fare rates are relatively expensive as seaplane services would range between P2,000 to P4,000 per seat for the one-way travel.

“With seaplane, it’s a little more expensive again because of the overhead that we have. There are more expensive equipment and also, all our pilots are mostly expats,” he said.

Gutierrez said it is a scheduled carrier which can be booked online.

He vowed to expand its operations to Higantes Island, Catbalogan City, among other pristine locations that are not yet serviced.

The Department of Tourism has accredited Air Juan as a tourist transport provider.

The company, which claimed to be the biggest seaplane operator in Southeast Asia, is also licensed by the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines and Civil Aeronautics Board. (FREEMAN)


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