Budget carrier Cebu Pacific on Thursday kicked off its international flights to Hong Kong and Singapore from Iloilo. The first flight to Hong Kong was scheduled to leave at 11:10 p.m. with an estimated arrival time of 1:35 a.m., Friday, Cebu Pacific said in a statement. Cebu Pacific is set to start its Iloilo-Singapore flights on Friday. “With these new routes, Cebu Pacific affirms its commitment to provide connectivity to Iloilo and Western Visayas, by basing an aircraft here, and making Iloilo one of the airline’s operational hubs,” said Cebu Pacific's vice president for marketing and distribution Candice Iyog. "We believe that these new international routes will open a lot of tourism and business opportunities to and from Iloilo and its surrounding areas,” she added. Last October 2012, CEB launched direct flights from Iloilo to three more domestic destinations: Tacloban, General Santos and Puerto Princesa. Previously, CEB only flew from Iloilo to Manila, Cebu, Davao and Cagayan de Oro. For her part, Singapore Tourism board area director for the Philippines and Brunei Sherina Chan welcomed the development. “We hope the launch of Iloilo-Singapore-Iloilo flights will mark the beginning of a steady flow of visitors from the Western Visayas region to Singapore.” — DVM, GMA News
Philippine President Benigno Aquino on Tuesday announced a $1.8-billion military upgrade to help defend his country's maritime territory against "bullies", amid an ever-worsening dispute with China.