MANILA, July 2 (AFP) – OceanJet Fast Ferries Inc, the Philippines’ leading fastcraft operator, is expected to launch a new route connecting Cebu, Maasin, and Surigao, industry sources said Tuesday.

The company has reportedly been in talks with local government officials since April to serve the route, which could begin operations as early as the third week of July 2024.

While some industry observers have expressed skepticism about the feasibility of using fastcraft vessels for the lengthy journey, similar routes have been served in the past by other operators including SuperCat, WaterJet, and Weesam Express.

Sources suggest that OceanJet may deploy its OceanJet 3 series vessels for the new service, although this is subject to change pending final announcements.

The new route is expected to significantly improve connectivity between Surigao, Maasin, and Cebu. Currently, passenger ferry service between Cebu and Maasin is limited to a weekly trip by Cokaliong Shipping Lines.

OceanJet has not yet released official details about the planned service. The company’s entry into this route could have a substantial impact on sea travel options in the Southern Leyte and Surigao areas.