Philippines eyes direct flights between Brunei capital to Cebu, Clark

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN, Brunei—The Philippines is looking to connect destinations outside Manila like Cebu and Clark to the capital of Brunei through direct flights.

Christina Frasco.jpg
Tourism Secretary Christina Frasco (Betheena Unite)

This was disclosed by Tourism Secretary Christina Frasco on Wednesday, May 29, following the signing of a tourism pact with Brunei on Tuesday.

"Yes, direct to Cebu and Clark. Hopefully, that is something that we will work very hard on," she said when asked if the plan to increase direct flights to Philippine major provinces include Bandar Seri Begawan.

According to Frasco, the goal of the current administration is to create direct routes to various tourism destinations in the country. In order to achieve this, the Tourism department will be collaborating with the Department of Transportation (DOTr) in conducting air talks with other countries.

"As of the moment, we do have our local carriers Philippine airlines and Cebu Pacific that already fly and of course there is Royal Brunei Airlines as well. But yung goal po natin ay yung connectivity natin ay hindi lamang papunta sa Maynila kung hindi diretso po sa sting mga tourism destinations such as Cebu and Clark (our goal is to make our connectivity, not just to Manila, but directly to tourism destinations such as Cebu and Clark)," Frasco said in an interview with the Philippine media here.

"Kaya yung gagawin po ng Department of Tourism in collaboration with the Department of Transportation ay makikipag-ugnayan po tayo sa routes development para naman po, the air talks, the negotiations ay madadagdagan ‘yong flights and madadagdagan ‘yong destinations outside Manila (we will coordinate with routes development so that air talks, the negotiations would increase the flights and increase the destinations outside Manila)," Frasco added.

The Tourism chief further said that while the total population of Brunei is at 449,002 as of 2022, the Philippine government is looking to tap "quality tourism."

"Our President said, it's really the quality of tourists that count and from Brunei, while it is a small country, we are expecting a quality tourism from this partners of ours, especially in the aspects of business events, meeting, conventions exhibitions, including our eco-tourism, of course including our nature and beach offerings, our diving tourism, and heritage and pilgrimage tourism," Frasco said.

Meanwhile, the Tourism official also reiterated the goal of the country to expand its tourism portfolio through Halal tourism development in the country.