CAB issues permit to SkyJet; new airline to fly to unserved destinations

Remember my last trip to Batanes? The plane we took was supposed to be SkyJet but there were problems back then so it was just called a chartered flight. Well the good news is SkyJet got its permit to fly.

CAB issued a permit to SkyJet; new airline to fly to unserved destinations
The Civil Aeronautics Board issued a temporary operating permit (TOP) to new player SkyJet Airlines which now allows the company to fly to different destinations nationwide.

In an order signed Aug. 3, CAB granted the urgent motion of Magnum Air, the corporation that owns SkyJet, for a permit to operate. The permit took effect immediately. With CAB’s issuance of a permit, SkyJet will immediately comply all requirements of the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) to be able to start commercial operations.

The CAB is mandated by Republic Act 776, as amended by Presidential Decree 1462, to regulate, promote, and develop the economic aspect of air transportation in the Philippines and ensure that existing policies are adapted to the present and future air commerce of the Philippines.

The law also vests supervision, jurisdiction, and control over all carriers engaged in air commerce in the Philippines as well as their property, equipment, franchise and facilities.

Dr. Joel Mendoza, chief executive officer of Magnum Air hailed the decision of CAB, saying it will pave the way for SkyJet to fly to destinations that are either unserved or underserved.


Dr. Mendoza in purple during our visit to Batanes in May 2012. That time it was still a chartered flight

“Our vision is to be an important partner in spurring economic activity through responsible tourism. We sell tourism destinations, not airline seats. And so we partner with local governments who share the same vision of responsible tourism,” he said.

Sky Jet will soon start regular commercial flights to Basco, Virac, Catarman and Surigao using a 94-seater British manufactured plane BAe 146-200.

Mendoza said unlike other new players, SkyJet aims to bring back the frills in flying and will accord passengers with the best hospitality on board including snacks and comfortable seats.

“SkyJet will offer first class flying at reasonable prices. We don’t promise cheap rates but we assure our passengers of premium customer care in all our destinations,” he said.

Mendoza said the choice of aircrafts manufactured by the BAe Systems is one proof of the company’s commitment to bring back the comfort in flying. The aircraft used by SkyJet is the same model used by the British Royal family. Others using the BAE Systems aircrafts include British airlines, Lufthansa, and other Europe-based airlines.

“This aircraft is specifically made for short landing and takeoff. It specializes in (operating in) unpaved runways so we can assure passengers of ease in landing even in smaller airports,” Mendoza said.


Telesforo Castillejos and son-in-law Dr. Joel Mendoza, SkyJet CEO

There is a human interest story on SkyJet owner, Dr.Joel Mendoza. In 2007 , he visited Batanes to see former Batanes governor Telesforo Castillejos for the “pamanhikan”. Dr. Mendoza thought to himself that the “pamanhikan” will be the first and last visit to Batanes. He could not imagine visiting such a far flung province. He fell in love with Batanes that pretty soon, he found ways to bring flights to Batanes. Starting with SEAIR as chartered flights , it gave way to more flights but the seating capacity was too little. Through research , he discovered the 94-seater British manufactured plane BAe 146-200 that suited the short runway of the Basco airport.

It is quite a love story and I digress.

For more information about SkyJet Airlines, visit www.skyjetair.com.

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