By Antonio L. Colina IV
DAVAO CITY – Flag carrier Philippine Airlines (PAL) will reestablish the air linkage between Davao City and Manado, Indonesia in the first quarter of next year, an official from the Consulate General of the Republic of Indonesia in Davao City said.
Endah R. Yuliarti Farry, consul for information and sociocultural affairs, said in an interview they have yet to get details on the frequency of flights but she confirmed the airline firm has already done a feasibility study on the Davao-Manado air route.
“With regard to the reopening of the direct flights from Davao City to Manado, this kind of route will be served by PAL. From Indonesian side, we are discussing further what company will service the direct flight,” she said.
She believes the direct flight will benefit both Indonesian and Mindanawon travelers, most especially businessmen and students.
“It is expected this direct flight will not only be for the business people but also for students who want to continue their study (Indonesia or Philippines). Students from Indonesia who will continue their study in Philippines, they can utilize this direct flight,” she said.
She added that the reopening of the route will strengthen efforts to increase trade between two countries.
“One of the Indonesia’s efforts to support the direct flight between Davao and Manado is organize exposition so hopefully there will be Indonesian businessmen coming from Manado who will export their products to Mindanao,” she said.
The Consulate General of the Republic of Indonesia in Davao City is set to hold the 2nd Indonesia Manufactured Products Expo from November 23 to 25, 2018 at the Abreeza Mall, featuring products of 20 Indonesian manufacturers of construction and building materials, houseware, batik and fashion products, food and beverage, heath care, beauty products, and agricultural machinery.
The Davao International Airport has three international flights – Davao-Singapore by SilkAir and Cebu Pacific, Davao-Kuala Lumpur by AirAsia, and Davao-Hong Kong by Cathay Pacific.
XiamenAir will also launch thrice-weekly direct flights between Davao City and Jinjiang in Fujian province of China starting December 18, 2018.
On September 1, 2018, Philippine Ambassador to Indonesia Leehiong T. Wee and Indonesian Ambassador to the Philippines Sinyo Harry Sarundajang signed a written statement to promote the reestablishment of the air route. It was witnessed by Transportation Undersecretary for aviation Manuel Antonio L. Tamayo at the Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia in Makati City.
Both Ambassadors Wee and Sarundajang agreed to promote the revival of the defunct route to increase trade, tourism and investment between the two countries.
The statement said the “Air Transport Agreement” signed between Philippines and Indonesia on March 24, 1972 will enhance the mutually beneficial economic relations and people-to-people contact stemming from centuries-old ties of both nations.
A subsequent memorandum of understanding (MOU) on the expansion of air linkages between and among Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines was also signed in 2007 where Davao and Manado were identified as designated points.
The two countries will mark the 69th anniversary of the opening of diplomatic relations on November 24 this year.