El Nido Airport (ENI) is also known as Lio Airport, named for the river that runs nearby. Located on a beachfront, about 5 km from El Nido town proper, it is owned and operated by AirSWIFT, an appraised Filipino company previously known as Island Transvoyager, Inc. (ITI Air), which specialises in domestic flights between islands in the Philippines.
To say that El Nido Airport is small and basic is an understatement. Consisting of two huts, one for departures, the other for arrivals, and without air conditioning or decent food and drinks options, El Nido Airport has a genuine “Welcome to the Jungle” feel. The runway too is in keeping with this ‘unmanicured’ vibe, as it features a patchwork of areas covered in gravel with areas coated with tarmac.
Advantages of a Direct Flight to El Nido Airport
Paradoxically, given its unkempt look, arriving in El Nido by plane is viewed as something of a luxury by many travellers, as flying with AirSWIFT is a convenience which comes at a cost – expect to pay about PHP 12,000 for a return flight Manila-El Nido.
The one hour flight time from Manila is an attractive proposition. Another alternative is to fly from Manila to Puerto Princesa, then to travel by minivan for at least four hours on a bumpy road to reach El Nido. Note that you can also get to El Nido by air from Cebu and Boracay.
El Nido Airport Transfer Services
Once at El Nido Airport, transfer services are on hand for you to get to your hotel. There’s a small pier on the beach adjacent to the airport from which you can travel directly to your hotel if it’s situated on a nearby island. If you did not organise your transfer by minivan or speedboat ahead of time through your hotel, tricycles (motorcycle with side car) are available to take you to El Nido town proper. The transfer to downtown El Nido by tricycle costs around PHP 250 for two people plus luggage.
El Nido Airport
- Location: In Villa Libertad, some five kilometres northeast of El Nido Town
- Tel: +63 917 828 9852