As one of the key gateways to the Philippines, Kalibo International Airport (KLO) plays an essential role in bridging various localities and international territories. It is the fastest growing airport and one of the major international airports serving and the main port of arrival for tourists heading to the world-renowned Boracay Island. Kalibo Airport is located in the province capital of Aklan, at the entrance to the heart of the Philippine archipelago.
The airport’s strategic location and access to popular attractions make it a crucial contributor to the region’s socio-economic development and a powerful catalyst for the country’s tourism industry.
History of Kalibo International Airport
Kalibo Airport was initially established to serve domestic flights and support the region’s transportation needs. However, the exponential growth of tourism in Boracay Island precipitated its expansion and transformation into an international airport in the 2000s.
Over the years, the airport has witnessed numerous developments. Its upgrade to an international airport the previous year has led to the further construction, renovation, and expansion of the general area of the terminal building, similar technologies with other major international airports, increasing passenger traffic and the annual passenger capacity significantly.
With the rise in international visitors, Kalibo Airport’s transport capabilities have continuously evolved. Its runway was extended to accommodate larger aircraft, which marked a significant milestone in its history as it began hosting long-haul flights from various parts of the globe.
Facilities and Services
The airport terminal houses a single terminal building that serves domestic and international flights. It has standard facilities, including a departure and arrival area, check-in counters, and immigration facilities.
Available airlines and destinations
Various airlines are operating domestic and international flights, connecting the Aklan province to many tourist attractions across the globe.
Below are some of the airlines that have been known to operate along with their commonly serviced routes:
Cebu Pacific Air
Cebu Pacific is a low-cost carrier based in the Philippines. They have flights to and from Manila, Cebu, and Clark. Internationally, they offer flights to and from Seoul (Incheon) and Busan in South Korea.
Philippine Airlines (PAL)
The flag carrier airline of the Philippines, PAL, offers flights to Manila and Cebu. PAL often uses Kalibo as a gateway for chartered flights from China.
A Malaysian low-cost airline, AirAsia, operates flights to and from Manila, Cebu, and Clark. Internationally, they have flights to and from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Pan Pacific Airlines
Pan Pacific Airlines, a charter airline from the Philippines, has been known to operate flights to and from Seoul (Incheon), South Korea.
This South Korean airline operates flights to and from Seoul (Incheon), South Korea.
Another South Korean airline, T’way Air, operates flights to and from Seoul (Incheon) and Daegu, South Korea.
South Korean low-cost airline, has been known to offer direct flights to Kalibo International Airport. This makes it incredibly convenient for travelers from South Korea to visit the Philippines, particularly the popular tourist destination of Boracay.
There are terminal fee that passengers are required to pay at Kalibo International Airport. This fee contributes to the maintenance and operational costs of the airport.
For domestic flights, the terminal fee was PHP 200. For international flights, it was PHP 700. Please note that these fees are subject to change, and they might be incorporated into the price of your plane ticket, depending on the airline.
Please note that due to the global COVID-19 pandemic, flight schedules and routes may have significantly changed or been reduced. If you are going to Boracay, two airports are going to Boracay; you may search nearby airports for their best prices and seats offered. For the latest and most accurate information and availability, it’s best to check directly with the airline before booking or the official website of Kalibo International Airport.
It provides various services, including dining options, shops for travel essentials and souvenirs, and car rental services. Despite its smaller size, it ensures traveller convenience and comfort. Here’s a list of some available services:
Food and Beverages
Kalibo Airport hosts several eateries, restaurants, and hotels, offering travellers a mix of local and international cuisines. There are cafés and snack bars where passengers can grab a quick bite and restaurants for more substantial meals located across the parking lot of the airport.
The airport features several shops where travellers can purchase a variety of goods. These various stores include a duty-free shop is located on the second floor selling a range of international products and stores such as local souvenir shops where you can buy Philippine handicrafts, local delicacies, and other unique items.
Currency Exchange & ATMs
For the convenience of international travellers, the airport terminal provides currency exchange services. ATMs are also available for quick cash withdrawals.
Car Rental Services
Numerous reputable car rental companies have a presence located at Kalibo International Airport, providing a variety of vehicles to accommodate diverse passenger needs. By availing of these trusted services, passengers can secure reliable transportation to stay in the region.
Boracay Transfers simplifies the journey from Kalibo International Airport to Boracay Island. They offer land and ferry transport and luggage assistance and handle mandatory fees. A range of vehicles is provided to suit group sizes, and round-trip services are typically available. Pre-booking, especially during peak seasons, is recommended.
Free Wi-Fi service is typically available for passengers who wait for their flight and those who arrive in the check in area, allowing them to stay connected while waiting for their flight.
An information desk can assist passengers, answer queries, and offer information about flights, tickets, airport facilities, and the local area.
The airport offers luggage trolleys and a lost and found desk for any misplaced items within the airport premises.
Please note that the operation and to pay these services might be affected due to COVID-19 restrictions or changes in airport policy. It’s always a good idea to check the latest information directly with the airport or service providers.
Accessibility features for disabled passengers
Kalibo International Airport is committed to offering a seamless and inclusive travel experience for all passengers, including those with disabilities. While specific details about accessibility services at the airport were not widely available, it is customary for airports to assist passengers with mobility issues, including wheelchair services to transport them from check-in to the boarding gate and from the aircraft to the arrivals area.
Accessible restrooms, elevators, and ramps are typically available to ensure ease of movement within the airport terminal. Priority boarding is often provided to disabled passengers to facilitate a comfortable boarding process. For visually and hearing-impaired passengers, special assistance services are expected to be in place for smooth navigation through check-in, security checks, and boarding, along with effective communication of crucial flight information.
Passengers requiring special assistance should notify their airline in advance, ideally at the time of booking or at least 48 hours before departure. This proactive step ensures that the airline can make the necessary arrangements. Additionally, travellers should verify the most current and specific details directly with the destination, airport, or airline for the most accurate information.
Importance to Tourism and the Economy
Driving Tourism, especially toward Boracay Island
Kalibo International Airport is instrumental in promoting local and international tourism, serving as a crucial gateway to the renowned Boracay Island. It fosters a steady stream of the arrival of tourists to popular attractions and amplifies the appeal of local attractions like the Ati-Atihan Festival. The airport’s effective operations enhance the visibility of these popular locations globally.
Boosting Local and National Economy
Kalibo International Airport significantly contributes to economic growth at both local and national levels. Locally, the influx of tourists supports businesses and creates job opportunities, improving community living standards. Nationally, the tourism revenues and the airport’s operations boost the country’s GDP and stimulate sectors like civil aviation authority and logistics, thereby fostering economic stability and growth.
Anticipated Developments and Their Potential Impact
Kalibo International Airport has expansion plans to cater to growing tourism, including terminal facility enhancements, runway length, and passenger amenities. These improvements invite more airlines to Kalibo, increase international tourist arrivals, and stimulate airline competition, possibly leading to lower fares and improved passenger experience. While these developments reflect the airport’s commitment to sustainable growth, balancing tourism expansion with preserving the region’s natural and cultural treasures is crucial.
Many passengers flying through Kalibo International Airport have been pleasantly surprised by their experience. Despite its smaller size than other international airports, it holds a certain charm and efficiency, making the travel experience enjoyable and relatively stress-free.
Positive Reviews and Experiences
Kalibo International Airport frequently receives positive feedback for its cleanliness and well-kept facilities, a testament to the commitment of its maintenance staff toward passenger comfort. The airport’s efficiency, evident in its streamlined check-in, security, baggage handling, and immigration processes, adds to a smooth passenger experience. Complementing these attributes is the warmth and hospitality of the airport staff. Their helpful and friendly demeanor, reflecting the welcoming Filipino culture, further enriches the overall travel experience at Kalibo International Airport.
Proximity to Boracay
One of the key advantages of the airport highlighted by travelers is its convenience and proximity to Boracay Island. It is a vital transit and landing point for those traveling to this beautiful destination, making it a crucial part of their journey.
Advice for Future Travelers
If you plan to use Kalibo International Airport, remember that weather conditions, particularly during the monsoon season, could delay flights. Therefore, please check your flight schedules regularly. To enhance your travel experience, familiarize yourself with the airport’s amenities, such as dining options, shopping outlets, and other facilities. Even though Kalibo Airport may have different amenities than larger airports, its cleanliness, efficiency, and welcoming staff make it a top choice for those visiting Boracay and the wider Aklan region.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Where is Kalibo International Airport located?
Kalibo International Airport is located in the province of Aklan, in the Western Visayas region of the Philippines. The airport is approximately 2 kilometers east of the central area of Kalibo, the provincial capital.
What destinations can I reach directly from Kalibo International Airport?
Kalibo International Airport has regular domestic flights to Manila, Cebu, and other Philippine cities. International flights include important cities in countries such as China, South Korea, and Malaysia. However, routes and schedules of departures may change.
How can I reach Boracay Island from Kalibo International Airport?
From Kalibo International Airport, you can reach Boracay Island by taking a two-hour bus or van ride to Caticlan Jetty Port, followed by a 10-20 minute boat ride to Caticlan Port.
Is Kalibo Airport the closest airport to Boracay?
No, the nearest airport to Boracay Island is Godofredo P. Ramos Airport, also known as Caticlan Airport (MPH), in Malay, Aklan. It’s just a few kilometers from the Caticlan Port, where boats depart for Boracay Island.
What are the airport's operating hours?
Operating hours may vary, but generally, the airport terminal is open 24 hours. However, flight operations and services like check-in counters typically operate according to flight schedules.
Are there any nearby hotels where I can stay overnight?
Yes, there are several hotels located near Kalibo International Airport, ranging from budget to upscale accommodations.
Below is a list of some of these hotels:
Discover Hotel Boracay: Situated just across the airport’s parking lot from the departure doors, Discover Hotel Boracay offers comfortable and elegant accommodations within walking distance of Kalibo Airport.
Papierus Pensionne: Located just 2 km away, Papierus Pensionne provides a peaceful environment and comfortable accommodations, complete with free WiFi access.
Kalibo Hotel: Situated 2.5 km away from Kalibo Airport, Kalibo Hotel offers elegant, air-conditioned rooms with ensuite bathrooms. Complimentary WiFi access is also provided in the rooms.
How early should I arrive at the airport before my flight?
We recommend that passengers arrive at the pre-departure area at least two hours before a domestic flight and three hours before an international flight. This schedule ensures passengers have ample time for check-in, security checks, and boarding.
Can I park my car at the airport? If so, what are the rates?
They offer parking facilities, but rates and availability can vary. Please check with the airport authorities for the best price and most accurate information.
How can I check my flight status for departure or arrival at Kalibo Airport?
The best way to check your flight status is to visit the airline’s official website or contact the airline directly. Some airports may also provide flight information on their website or via a customer service hotline.