AirSwift – the airline you’ve probably never heard of unless you are trying to avoid the dreaded Puerto Princesa to El Nido bus. Am I right? After initially thinking there was no direct route to El Nido, I was very happy to discover this little gem of an airline. It saved us a very long day of travelling! So if like me you’ve discovered AirSwift, the only airline that flies direct to El Nido, and want to learn a little more about it, here’s everything you need to know.

What kind of airline is AirSwift?

AirSwift is a small boutique airline with a fleet of propeller planes that offer direct flights to El Nido’s tiny airport. The company was originally created to give guests staying in the upmarket resorts a quick and easy way to get to El Nido. However, you don’t have to stay at one of the resorts to be able to book a flight with them.

Why fly with AirSwift?

AirSwift is the only airline that flies straight to El Nido. The other option involves flying to Puerto Princesa and then getting a 5-hour coach the rest of the way. Therefore if you’re short on time or you’re not but you’re fed up of long travel days, then AirSwift is your best option.

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Where does AirSwift fly from?

AirSwift currently flies to El Nido from 7 different popular destinations across The Philippines: Manila, Boracay, Cebu, Puerto Princesa, Clarke and Busuanga.

They also now have routes running from Manila to Basco, and Manila to Sicogon too.

You can find out full details on the flight days and times on the AirSwift website here.

The booking experience

The overall booking experience with AirSwift was relatively straight forward, despite some reviews we’d read online that said otherwise. AirSwift’s website is easy enough to navigate through, but there are a few things to note. During the booking process, the website will ask for the name of your resort. This doesn’t mean that you need to stay at a resort to book a flight, but as its a mandatory field, we just put ‘Not staying at one’. Also, you only get 10kg of checked in baggage allowed with your ticket, so make sure to book extra if you need it during the booking process. I read that it can be a bit tricky getting it added on afterwards otherwise.

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The flying experience

Our flying experience with AirSwift was great. Check-in was straight forward with no issues and the planes have comfy seats and lots of leg room. There’s no entertainment system onboard and they don’t serve food, but who needs that for a 1-2 hour flight anyway! Our flight was slightly delayed due to weather conditions (not really the airline’s fault), but other than that everything else ran without a hitch.

Pros of flying with AirSwift

  • The obvious of course. You get to fly direct into El Nido and only have a 20-minute trike ride into town as opposed to a 5-hour bus!
  • As El Nido airport is really small, there isn’t much hanging around when checking in/collecting bags. This makes your journey seem a lot smoother.

Cons of flying with AirSwift

  • Tickets are quite a bit more expensive than budget airlines like AirAsia and Philippine Airlines. But remember these don’t fly direct, so it depends whether your priority is saving time or saving money.
  • AirSwift only allows you to take 20kg of baggage in total (including the extra you can buy). Therefore if you have a heavy backpack from a long haul flight then this could be an issue!

Overall, I would highly recommend flying with AirSwift for a stress-free arrival and departure from El Nido. Deciding to spend a little extra money and fly with them one of the best decisions we made travel-wise whilst in The Philippines and it probably will be yours too! You can book your flights with AirSwift here.

Have you flown with AirSwift before? Let me know your experiences in the comments!

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