Photo courtesy of MidSea Express
UPDATE: I’m not sure if this airline is still operating now. Please call their customer hotline provided below to verify.
Getting to Siquijor has never been this quick! From Cebu, the travel time is 12 hours or more by boat (via Lite Shipping and Palacio Shipping), 5 hours by fast craft (via Ocean Jet) and NOW only 40 minutes by plane (via MidSea Express). Yes, MidSea Express is a Non-Scheduled Air Taxi Operator under Aviatour Fly’n Inc according to its website.
Last Friday, I got to fly with them from Cebu to Siquijor. For only 1,800pesos (all inclusive of the airfare and service charge) plus additional 100pesos for the terminal fee, I got to save 4 hours and 20 minutes travel time instead of taking the fast craft and 11 hours and 20 minutes travel time saved instead of taking the boat.
Note: The one way airfare from Cebu to Siquijor is only 1699pesos if you book your flight directly from MidSea Express. If you book your flight from a third-party agent, like in my case, a service charge of 100-101pesos will be charged. Thus, I paid 1800pesos for my airfare.
Getting To The Airport Terminal in Cebu
This can be a challenge for first timers since MidSea Express is using the General Aviation Terminal, NOT the usual Mactan International/Domestic Airport, as its hub. That’s two different passenger terminals on opposite ends of the runway. The first caters to private and chartered flights, while the latter serves commercial airline flights.
Here’s a map to guide you on your way to the General Aviation Terminal:
Here’s a closer look of the map with a few landmarks:
General Aviation Terminal (MCIAA)
General Aviation Road, Brgy. Pajac
Lapu-lapu City, Mactan Island
Note: Make sure to print a copy of the map. It will serve as your guide if your driver doesn’t know the way to the terminal. If all else fails, the best thing to do is ASK. You may ask the traffic enforcers, police or just about anyone in the area. Goodluck!
In The Terminal – Cebu
The General Aviation Terminal has a small waiting lounge; just enough space for passengers of private and chartered flights. Since I reserved my flight from a third party agent, I had to pay for my airfare in the terminal. Yes, MidSea Express doesn’t have any online booking system yet. Hopefully, they will have one in the near future.
All passengers are advised to be there an hour before the departure time. This is to facilitate weighing all baggage including the passengers and also for baggage inspection. And in case you’ll be lost on your way to the terminal, you still have time to catch up on your flight.
Here’s a closer look of the MidSea Express‘ Terminal:
What kind of Aircraft are they using?
MidSea Express‘ lone fleet is that of a BN 2A-21 Islander, a twin engine feeder line transport, which can only accommodate 2 pilots, 8 passengers and can hold a maximum of 200kgs (400lbs) baggage/cargo according to its website.
Here’s MidSea Express‘ lone aircraft:
What about In-flight Service?
There’s no such thing as in-flight service for this type of aircraft. Expect no food, no flight stewardess, not even a what-to-do-in-case-of-emergency video since there’s no TV onboard the plane. There was also NO briefing done by the staff before boarding the aircraft.
As a responsible passenger, I turned off all of my mobile phones and other electronic devices as safety precaution without being told to do so. My co-passenger also did the same thing… a habit we got from flying with other commercial airlines.
True to their word, they really are a Non-Scheduled Air Taxi Operator. The experience was somewhat similar to that of riding a taxi wherein, it was our sole responsibility to put our baggage at the back of the plane, buckle our seat belts, put on the ear plug (a necessity considering that the propeller of the plane is too noisy) and wait until the plane arrives at our destination.
See the photos inside the plane below:
The pilot and his co-pilot.
Two of the three MidSea Express’ staff who accompanied us to Siquijor
There were only 2 passengers during our flight plus 2 pilots and 3 MidSea Express‘ staff who accompanied us to Siquijor.
What to expect when you get to Siquijor Airport?
1. The runway is short. Thus, the MidSea Express aircraft is perfect for that kind of airstrip. No worries, the BN 2A-21 Islander is capable of landing and taking off safely with a short runway.
2. The island has NO airport terminal. The airstrip is right beside the parking area. I hope the local government can build a decent airport terminal because this would definitely boost the island’s tourism industry.
3. There’s NO transportation waiting for you in the airport so it’s better to arrange it in advance.
Flight Schedules of MidSea Express
Disclaimer: Flight schedules are subject to change without prior notice.
Cebu – Siquijor 2 pm (Fri, Sun) 40 minutes
Cebu – Siquijor 10 am (Wed via Bohol)
Siquijor – Cebu 3 pm (Fri, Sun) 40 minutes
Siquijor – Cebu 3 pm (Wed via Bohol)
Please see the photos below for other flight details and schedules:
How to Book Your MidSea Express Flight?
To book your flight, you may contact MidSea Express with the following:
Telephone : (+6332) 512-4241 or 495-6976
Mobile : +63-949-8941129
Note: Regarding the payment, just follow their instructions.
Overall, riding the first ever chartered plane to Siquijor was such a thrill. Simply watching the view from above already satisfied my curiosity. That alone overshadowed all areas of improvements I’ve mentioned above. Plus, I got to save a few hours of travel time.
If you have time, try it out also!
Disclaimer: I am not affiliated with MidSea Express or any of its staff, crew and owners. I paid for our own airfare ticket to Siquijor.
Check out the following Siquijor entries:
1. The Mystical Island of Siquijor – DEMYSTIFIED!
2. Places to See in Siquijor Part 1
3. Places to See in Siquijor Part 2
4. Where To Stay in Siquijor
5. Where to Eat in Siquijor – soon
6. Best Diving Spots in Siquijor - soon
7. Siquijor Beaches You May Want To See
8. Siquijor: Facts and Figures - soon
9. How To Get To Siquijor Via MidSea Express
Credits: Thanks to Daddy Firm for the video. We own all of the photos above EXCEPT for the flight details, schedules, and the first photo of this entry which we got from MidSea Express’ website. The two maps are courtesy of Google Maps.