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!

Air Swift waiting counter

Air Swift Snack Bag

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?”

Air Swift Sticker

Air Swift Sticker

All AirSwift flights are operated by ATR42-600 aircraft, and they have a fleet of 4.

Air Swift ATR

The plane was quite spacious, clean, and modern, with plenty of overhead space and free bottled water for everyone.

Air Swift Interior

Air Swift Setback

I love the legroom in this aircraft!

Air Swift Leg Room

Air Swift Seats

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.

Author: Jon Nickel-D'Andrea

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  1. thank you for this review. I am planning to use Air Swift for my honeymoon in 2017 and didn’t find many objective reviews about it. Good to know that the planes aren’t “rickety” as my friend warned me they were.

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    • You’re welcome! We had an issue finding good reviews as well. I loved AirSwift and I would happily fly them again. It was the best flight experience we had on the trip.

      Post a Reply
  2. Thanks for the review, it is very helpful. I am planning to fly AirSwift in February for the first time. How did you pick your seats beforehand? Also, how strict are they with carry-on luggage (i.e. do they force you to weigh it?).

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    • We didn’t get to pick the seats beforehand, but it was a short 45 minute flight so it didn’t matter. We just got there at a good enough time where they had plenty of space for us to choose from. No weighing of the carryon luggage, in fact I was surprised they didn’t (I had the backpack slammed full of stuff)

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  3. Can’t see how the sticker approach could ever present a problem!

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  4. The sticker is meant to help the airport personnel identify which passengers are taking AirSwift. This is particularly useful when the flight is leaving and some passengers are missing — mixed in with the rest of the crowd/shopping/snacking. I used to work for a large US carrier and our passengers had stickers too. In different designs to help the ground staff figure out who is going to which particular flight.

    Thanks very much for your article. Very helpful and informative! I had flown AirSwift back when they were still at their old terminal (located in a dark alley between terminals 4 and 3) and was quite confused as to where they are now because I couldn’t even find the info on their website.

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    • Thanks for the info. I suppose that makes sense. I can imagine there are a lot of random stray passengers walking around 🙂

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  5. Any issues with delays to catch other flights out from Manila? Is the 5 hour window between flights really necessary?

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    • It isn’t. But we figured with not knowing how it would work. 2 is more than enough.

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  6. Hello!
    I would like to confirm the standard size of handcarry.
    According to the boarding pass it 18*13.5*9 inch, however, this is not the usual standard size, its smaller.
    Is this size correct or in the check in window there ir no problem with a little bigger lagguage?

    Post a Reply
    • Hi Leonardo
      I would suggest consulting with Air Swift for the most current information since these requirements are rather prone to change in time. Thanks for stopping by!

      Post a Reply
  7. Hi – Would you say it’s really necessary to get to the domestic terminal (in Manila) 2 hours prior to the flight? How long did it take to check in and clear security? Thanks!

    Post a Reply
    • Security was quick, only about 6 or 7 minutes. The longest was check in which took maybe 25 minutes because of the long line. I’d say if you are there 90 minutes you’re good!

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