MANILA, JULY 28, 2005
(STAR) By Ruth G. Mercado The Freeman - Airline launches soared with flying colors in July as two airlines deployed new aircraft and another two completed its maiden flights to Cebu.

Amid raging political storms sweeping the country, airport authorities, airline executives and tourism practitioners watched anxiously for increase in "no-shows" and launch cancellations. Instead, lavish launches were held in succession showing no signs of scrimped budgets or that travel is headed for record lows.

Cebu Pacific launched its A320 on July 15, while Doha-based Qatar Airways introduced its A330 exactly a week later.

Cebu-Incheon flights have been on the rise after Asiana Airlines completed its maiden flight on July 16 while Korean Airlines is flying to Cebu this week. With flag carriers Philippine Airlines and Cebu Pacific, four airlines now serve the route.

Tourism regional director Patria Aurora Roa said there has been an upsurge of Korean tourists in the country that is outpacing Japanese arrivals. The director said Koreans have actually known about the political fracas in the Philippines but refused to be discouraged or stymied. "They came on time," she said.

Of the 45 flights weekly at Mactan, 19 flights are purely for Korea. Mactan International Airport general manager Adelberto Yap said there has been a 40 percent increase in Korean flights in recent months. On-demand audio video on Singapore route.

Developing a key component in its global operations, Qatar Airways launched its Airbus A330-200 on July 22. The bigger capacity aircraft operates three-times weekly via Singapore. The wide-body A330-200 flies in two-class configurations of up to 247 seats in economy and 24 in business. Until Friday, the service was operated with Airbus A300.

The new aircraft is said to offer audio video on demand waves interactive entertainment system. Passengers on every seat can choose from a list of international new release films and short programs to view on individual television screens and listen to CDs and radio channels.

Qatar Airways chief executive officer Akbar Al Baker said the revised Cebu operation reinforces the airline's commitment to operate routes with increased capacity and comfort. "Cebu has been a highly successful route for us and it provides excellent connections for passengers traveling on our network to Europe and the rest of the Middle East via our Doha hub."

Qatar Airways is the national airline of the State of Qatar based at its capital city of Doha.

The increase of new aircraft and routes at Mactan may well be a preview of things hoped-for. The Mactan airport is said to have the only runway in the country that can accommodate new generation aircraft like the world's biggest jet, the Airbus 380.

With the improvement of its runways and growth in aviation traffic, Mactan will have to redesign its terminal facilities to something more glitzy befitting new generation aircraft to keep its colors flying.

Fake tour guides gi-monitor (BANAT) Ni Pepe Sollano  07/28/2005

Bohol - Gibantayan karon sa kadagkuan sa Department of Tourism inabagan sa kapolisan kadtong mga peke nga tour guide pagseguro nga mahatagan sa igong proteksyon ang mga turista.

Si Secretary Joseph Ace Durano sa DOT miluwat niining maong kamanduan human ang iyang buhatan makadawat og reklamo bahin sa mga nagpatuong mga tour guides.

Matud pa ni Durano nga gikinahanglan gayod maseguro nga ang mga turista nakakuha sa serbisyo sa mga lisensyadong tour guides.

Gipasabot ni Durano nga kini gikinahanglan gayud kaayo aron maseguro nga luwas ang mga turista samtang kini nagsuroy-suroy sa nagkalain-laing dapit sa nasud.

Nahibaw-an hinoon nga sagad sa mabiktima niini mao kadtong mga turista nga muabot dinhi sa nasud nga wala mukuha sa serbisyo sa mga travel agency didto sa ilang dapit.

Nangayo usab og tabang ang DOT sa kapolisan kabahin niining maong kampanya.

Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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