The Lucio Tan group is venturing into shipping with the launch of a ferry service tomorrow between Kalibo and Boracay.
Mabuhay Maritime Express Transport Inc., a subsidiary of Philippine Airlines Inc. which was established in August 2016, will initially provide ferry service between Kalibo and Boracay, and vice versa utilizing brand-new 42-meter catamarans.
PAL is targeting to start the ferry service between Kalibo and Boracay by the last week of October.
MME earlier secured a green light from the Board of Investments as a domestic shipping operator of high-speed passenger ship with a project cost of P602 million to service the Kailbo-Boracay, Aklan route.
MME’s new ferry service is in time for the reopening of Boracay Island to tourists and will complement its airline operations.
All of PAL’s flights at Caticlan are run by its domestic subsidiary PAL Express, which operates A320 family aircraft and Dash 8 turboprops.
The Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation said about one million of the 6.6 million overseas visitors to the Philippines in 2017 stopped in Boracay.
Boracay is popular with Chinese and South Korean visitors, which are the largest markets for the Philippine tourism industry.
PAL’s parent firm, PAL Holdings Inc., posted a total comprehensive loss of P444.78 million in the first six months, up 59 percent to P444.78 million from P279.79 million year-on-year.
The country’s flag carrier posted total revenues of P75.13 billion in the first half of the year, up 13 percent from P66.31 billion on the year.
PAL Holdings’ total expenses climbed 15.2 percent to P75.57 billion from the previous year’s P65.61 billion mainly due to the increase in flights mounted.
READ: Boracay to reopen Oct. 26; wild parties out
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