Air Swift, the airline you’ve never heard of!
It should be noted that if you want to fly into the El Nido airport, there is one, and only one, carrier that can get you there. Air Swift is a small company and they mostly service the needs of the passengers who are heading to the expensive resorts on the north part of the island.
The flights are easily bookable even if you’re not staying at those fancy resorts. Their website, albeit simplistic and lacking some basic functions (like being able to manage a booking or even seen your reservation) is very easy to use and booking the flights was a breeze.
They currently offer flights from El Nido to Cebu and Manila, and they’re looking to add a flight to Sicogon in the near future. The flight ran about 4000 PHP, which in today’s exchange rate is about $80 for a one-way ticket.
When you get to the Manila domestic terminal 4, there is a designated Air Swift waiting area, where you’re given a snack bag which has a drink, sandwich, and brownie, to help you pass the time. Nice touch!
You’re also given a sticker to wear on your clothing. This way, the airline knows that you are actually authorized to board. Wait, I thought this was the job of the “boarding pass?”
All AirSwift flights are operated by ATR42-600 aircraft, and they have a fleet of 4.
The plane was quite spacious, clean, and modern, with plenty of overhead space and free bottled water for everyone.
I love the legroom in this aircraft!
NOTE: If you’re flying TO El Nido, sit on the left hand side of the plane, as it’s where all the views are, and if you’re heading back to Manila, head to the right side.
If you wanted to fly another airline, you’d have to fly into Puerto Princesa airport and then take a six (YES SIX) hour shuttle to get to El Nido. Using Air Swift is a quick, cheap, and easy option to get right into the resort town and start relaxing ASAP.