EL NIDO, Palawan – Local domestic carrier AirSwift, with the approval of Mayor Edna Gacot-Lim, said they are offering “mercy flights” out of El Nido to land in their terminals in Clark, Cebu, and Caticlan from March 15 -20, 2020 in order for all departing tourists to leave the municipality.

This is despite Lim’s order on March 13 that all passenger domestic flights to and from El Nido will be canceled for a month.

A special arrangement with Airswift was made in order for all tourists to depart from the municipality.

“We know that people will need to get out of El Nido. Looking at the numbers, we’re looking at almost five hundred passengers a day. When we saw the Mayor’s announcement, we immediately asked for an extension and in-approve naman agad. Now, we have five more days to fly people out,” said Fely Salvador, vice president for Commercial, Airport Services and Aerodromes.

All departing tourists need to go to AirSwift’s office in the Lio Tourism Estate to avail of the mercy flights. Flight schedules are subject to change at the discretion of the airline. Also, AirSwift wishes to clarify that mercy flights do not mean free flights.

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“We will honor those who already have pre-paid tickets for their respective flights, and we have also waived rebooking fees. Those who are on a waitlist will still be paying the regular ticket prices for last-minute bookings,” Salvador added.

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is a senior reporter for Palawan News who covers politics, education, environment, tourism, and human interest stories. She loves watching Netflix, reading literary fiction, and listens to serial fiction podcasts. Her favorite color is blue.