DAVAO CITY – Direct international flights to and from Davao International Airport (DIA) are now allowed, Mayor Sara Duterte said.
Duterte said the local government welcomes the resumption of any direct air linkage when airline companies decide to reopen their international operations.
The local chief executive made the pronouncement six months after she ordered the suspension of all domestic and international flights back in March as a measure to curb the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
“The airport manager has not reached out if there are airlines with international flights that have expressed the interest to resume. But, of course, if there are any airlines that are willing to resume international flights, we will welcome it,” she said.
Duterte said airline companies told the city government that they would resume international flights if there would be “market demand”.
“The last time we addressed this question, the airlines said they will let the airport know if they have the intent to resume international flights based on market demand,” she said.
Cathay Dragon’s Davao-Hongkong-Davao and Xiamen Air’s Davao-Quanzhou(Jinjiang)-Davao flights were suspended in February while Cebu Pacific’s Davao-Singapore-Davao, Garuda Indonesia’s Davao-Manado-Davao, Qatar Airways’ Davao-Qatar-Davao, and SilkAir’s Davao-Singapore-Davao in March.
City Tourism Office head Generose Tecson also said airlines have yet to show their intent to resume their respective international flights.
She said the city was also waiting for Department of Transportation (DOTr) to inspect the airport and make appropriatere commendations, including approval of hotels that will be converted into quarantine facilities for arriving passengers of international flights.
“The DOTr will set up a system and approve hotels as quarantine facilities,” she said.
The DIA reopened on June 8 for domestic flights such as Manila, Clark, and Cebu.
Last July 22, Duterte required swab testing for arriving passengers with no “negative” coronavirus disease (COVID-19) test result through reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR), issued within 72 hours before their scheduled departure from the airport of origin, at the Davao International Airport.
Once cleared, passengers could proceed to a mandatory 14-day home quarantine.