Although the Philippines is an archipelago, most visitors arrive by air. International airports are located in Manila, Angeles, Cebu, Davao, Iloilo and Kalibo.
If you plan to tour the different islands, it is best to buy an open jaw ticket. This can save a lot of time flying back. Most common open-jaw ticket combinations fly to Manila and from Cebu, or the other way around. Local airlines also have regular “seat sales” advertising low prices for flights to domestic destinations. However, pay attention to the dates of travel: Some tickets booked during a seat sale can only be used on dates well after the duration of the sale (sometimes up to a year after the sale), and the advertised fares usually do not include government taxes and fuel surcharges.
If you live in an area with a large Filipino population (such as London, Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York, Hong Kong, Singapore, Taipei or Tokyo), check with travel agencies that specialise in overseas Filipinos, as they often have cheaper prices than those generally advertised.
Ninoy Aquino International Airport
Most visitors coming to the Philippines fly in via Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) (IATA: MNL). The airport is divided into four terminals: Terminals 1, 2, 3 and the Domestic Terminal (also known as Terminal 4).
- Most international flights depart from Terminal 1, with a few exceptions:
- Philippine Airlines international flights and some Philippine Airlines domestic flights depart from Terminal 2,
- while some domestic flights of Philippine airlines and all international and domestic flights of Cebu Pacific as well as the international flights of All Nippon Airways, Singapore Airlines, KLM, Cathay pacific, Emirates, Delta and Air Asia depart from Terminal 3.
- Air Asia’s domestic flights depart from Domestic Terminal 4.
- Terminal 1 has now been renovated. Terminal 1 now has fewer airlines and is much better than before.
- Terminal 3 is the best of all terminals with plenty of dining and shopping options.
Some visitors entering the Philippines choose not to fly via Manila, but use other airports in the Philippines that have international flights.
- Diosdado Macapagal (Clark) International Airport (IATA: CRK) in Angeles City, Pampanga is located 85 km north of Manila and is a popular hub for low-cost carriers flying to Manila. Air Asia, Tiger Air and Jin Air are now the three foreign low-cost carriers flying to Clark, from KL, Singapore and Seoul respectively. Cebu Pacific has flights to Hong Kong and Macau. Qatar Airways also has flights from Clark Airport to Doha.
- Mactan-Cebu International Airport (IATA: CEB) in Metro Cebu is the second largest airport in the Philippines and a major hub for visitors travelling to points in the Visayas and Mindanao. Several of the airlines that fly to Manila also fly to Cebu. Air Asia flies to Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia. Tiger Airways flies to Singapore. Cathay Pacific flies to Hong Kong.
- Francisco Bangoy International Airport (IATA: DVO) in Davao is served by SilkAir and Cebu Pacific with flights to and from Singapore.
- Kalibo International Airport (IATA: KLO) in Kalibo, Aklan (near Boracay) Air Asia, has flights to KL Malaysia, Seoul, Shanghai and Taipei. Cebu Pacific flies from Kalibo to Hong Kong. Other airlines also offer charter flights to Kalibo from points in South Korea, China and Taiwan.
- Iloilo International Airport (IATA: ILO) in Iloilo is served by Cebu Pacific, with flights to Hong Kong and Singapore.
Passengers departing on international flights from Davao or Iloilo or Kalibo airports are required to pay a terminal fee of ₱700. For Clark airport, the fee is ₱650 in addition to the Philippine travel tax. this is done before entering the immigration and pre-departure area of the terminal. Terminal fees are payable in Philippine pesos only.
- For Manila and Cebu airports, the terminal fee is now included in the ticket price.
- WeesamExpress operates a regular ferry service connecting Zamboanga City, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi with Sandakan, Malaysia.
- Aleson Shipping Lines also has a ferry from Zamboanga to Sandakan. Scheduled departure from Zamboanga every Monday and Thursday 12pm. Economy class ₱2700 each way. Cabin ₱3100 each way.