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Baguio Loakan Airport Guide: Reopening Date, Airlines, Routes, Schedule

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PAL flight taking off from Baguio AirportPhoto by Philippine Airlines

Known as the Summer Capital of the Philippines, Baguio City has been a favorite getaway spot of Filipinos over the years, thanks to its cooler temperature owing to its high elevation. This mountain city sits about 1,540 meters above sea level in the province of Benguet in Northern Luzon. It is also known as the City of Pines due to the abundance of pine trees that grow in and around the city proper. 

Aside from its cooler climate and lush pine trees, the city is home to popular Baguio tourist spots like Burnham Park, Camp John Hay, and the BenCab Museum, which have made the city one of the best places to visit in the Philippines

Sunrise over BaguioAs a city in the Philippines' highlands, the main mode of transportation to and from Baguio is mainly by car or bus from Manila and other Luzon destinations. However, the previously closed Loakan Airport is scheduled to reopen and continue operations on December 16, 2022, starting with flights to and from Cebu in the Visayas region. 

The Baguio airport was built in 1934 and was the first destination of Philippine Airlines' (PAL) maiden flight in 1941. However, it was eventually closed to commercial flights in the 1990s due to navigational difficulties. While it was closed to commercial flights, the airport has continuously been open for military and chartered flights. 

Is there an airport in Baguio? What is the nearest airport in Baguio?

Philippine Airlines plane at Baguio AirportPhoto by Philippine Airlines

Yes, the city has its own airport called the Loakan Airport (BAG). This entry point is located about 7 KM south of the Baguio City Hall in front of Burnham Park. The park is among the top places to visit in Baguio and is a common stop in most Baguio tours

Is Loakan Airport still open? When is Loakan Airport in Baguio reopening?

Swan boats at Burnham ParkThe Loakan Airport, the nearest airport in Baguio, was previously closed to commercial flights since the 1990s. However, it is now scheduled to reopen commercial Baguio Airport flights on December 16, 2022, starting with Baguio flights to and from Cebu province in the Visayas region with Philippine Airlines, the Philippine-flag carrier.

Which airlines fly to Loakan Airport in Baguio?

Philippine Airlines craft at Baguio AirportPhoto by Philippine Airlines

Currently, only PAL Express, the domestic subsidiary of Philippine Airlines, offers flights to the Loakan Airport from Cebu starting December 16, 2022. This route allows visitors to easily travel from one of the best beach destinations in the Philippines to the highlands, which boasts the diversity and sheer size of Philippine geography. For its Cebu - Baguio flights, the airline will be using a De Havilland Dash 8 - 400 New Generation aircraft, which is known to have a quieter cabin. 

How to get to Baguio from Cebu?

Colors of StobosaThe best way to get to Baguio City from Cebu City is by taking a direct flight from the Mactan-Cebu International Airport to Loakan Airport. The entire trip will only take about two hours of travel. For a more convenient trip, it's best to secure your online trip booking, ideally weeks ahead of your planned dates. 

What are the flight schedules for Cebu to Baguio flights?

Pine trees in Baguio CityCebu to Baguio flights with Philippine Airlines/PAL Express are scheduled to operate four times a week, specifically: every Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday. These flights will depart from the Mactan-Cebu International Airport at 8:50 AM and land at the Loakan Airport in Baguio at 10:50 AM. 

Meanwhile, Baguio to Cebu flights are slated to operate on the same days but will depart from the Loakan Airport at 11:10 AM and arrive in Cebu at 1 PM. 

How to Go to Your Baguio Hotel from Loakan Airport

Exterior of The ManorThe best way to get to the Loakan Airport from any Baguio hotel, such as The Manor at Camp John Hay, is by hailing a taxi or booking a Baguio transfer. It is highly recommended to opt for a Baguio transfer as you can easily book one ahead of time, ensuring that you leave your hotel on time. If you are booking Baguio tour packages, most of them already come with transfers as well. 

Baguio Airport Travel Tips 

Tourists at Mines View ParkSince Baguio enjoys a cooler climate than the rest of the Philippines, it's best to wear comfortable clothing that you can layer in case you start to feel chilly. It is highly recommended to pack a jacket or a sweater. If you're sensitive to the cold, consider bringing a thin scarf as well. 

For footwear, comfy sneakers are the best option, as the colder weather makes walking from place to place much more comfortable. Wearing the right footwear also allows you to try more activities in Baguio without getting tired too early. 

Before booking your flight to Baguio, make sure to secure your vaccination card or certificate (for fully vaccinated travelers) or a negative COVID-19 RT-PCR test result taken within 72 hours prior to arrival (for unvaccinated and partially vaccinated travelers). 

You will also need to sign up at Baguio's VIS.I.T.A (Visitor Information and Travel Assistance) platform, which can be found here. Take the time to read our Baguio Travel Guide as well for more information on what to prepare before a trip to the City of Pines and even a sample Baguio itinerary you can use as a reference. 

Fly to the Summer Capital of the Philippines

Kennon RoadExperience another side of the Philippines' diverse outdoors by booking a trip to Baguio City in the highlands of Luzon. With the reopening of the Loakan Airport and the launch of Cebu to Baguio flights, you can easily enjoy the coastal scenery of Cebu and then take in the breathtaking views of mountain ranges near the City of Pines the day after. 

Along with the striking landscape around the city, Baguio also serves as a great gateway to the Cordilleran heritage, which they show through their art, some of which you can find in the Tam-Awan Village. It is also a great place to stop over on the way to other destinations further north, such as Banaue, which is home to the beautiful rice terraces that have been named a UNESCO World Heritage Site and are among the best Luzon tourist spots.