Asian Spirit has begun operating BAe 146 services into a 950m (3,100ft)-long landing strip in the Philippines, which the airline clams is the shortest runway served on a scheduled basis by the regional jet anywhere in the world.

Asian Spirit chief operating officer Joaquin Ernesto Po says that BAe 146 services from its Manila base to the airfield at Caticlan in the central Philippines, which serves the local tourist resort at Boracay island, began on 1 December. Previously, the largest airliner type serving Caticlan was the 50-seat de Havilland Dash 7 turboprop.

Po says that to clear the way for operations into the strip, the airline had to obtain BAE Systems' certification and special approval from the Philippine civil aviation authorities. He adds that the carrier is only allowed to land at Caticlan using the 83-seat BAe 146-100 variant, but with capacity restricted to 60 passengers.

According to Flight's Acas database, Asian Spirit operates three BAe 146s: two -100s and one -200. In November 2005, one of its 146-200s was written off in a non-fatal overrun on the remote Philippine island of Catarman.

Source: Flight International