Bigger planes can now fly to Tacloban

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The Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) has lifted on Tuesday the restrictions it imposed on the Tacloban City airport, which could only take lighter planes because of runway repairs.

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Earlier, the operation of low-cost carriers Cebu Pacific Air, PAL Express, Tiger Air and AirAsia were limited to turbo prop planes, which could land safely on shorter runways.

Eric Apolonio, CAAP spokesman, said the four carriers can now start using the Airbus A320 or Boeing 737 when servicing Tacloban’s Daniel Z. Romualdez Airport during the holidays and the visit of Pope Francis on Jan. 17.

“We expect heavy influx of passengers during the holidays (because the lifting of the restriction allows) carriers to mount flights using bigger aircraft. This will accommodate more passengers,” Apolonio said.

He added that the carriers may even engage in a “price war” for Tacloban-bound passengers within the next few months. Apolonio said the airport operates from 5 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily.

The Romualdez airport has been closed for a major runway repair on September 4, 2014, allowing only small aircraft or turbo planes that can land and depart with limited numbers of passengers per flight. The air fare during those dates reportedly shoot up.

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