Mindanao Times

PAL to launch Davao-Manado, Zambo-Kota Kinabalu flights

- (Antonio L. Colina IV / MindaNews)

PHILIPPINE Airlines (PAL) will launch the twice-weekly flights from Davao City to Manado, Indonesia and Zamboanga City to Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia on March 31, 2020, a move that shows these routes have gained economic and financial viability, the Mindanao Developmen­t Authority (MinDA) said.

“This is a result of both increasing interests between the two areas in trade and tourism, and the growing population which would naturally, move from place to place,” Adrian

Tamayo, MinDA public relations head, told MindaNews on Sunday.

PAL Express will service the new routes every Tuesday and Thursday.

Tamayo expressed confidence that the “long history of cultural integratio­n

and the intermix of tradition and customs bearing strong resemblanc­e of Mindanao, Manado and Kota Kinabalu” will ensure the sustainabi­lity of the new routes.

He added the growing population in Brunei, Darussalam-Indonesia-MalaysiaPh­ilippines East ASEAN Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA), a 25-year old sub-regional economic cooperatio­n initiative in Southeast Asia designed to spur economic developmen­t in the lagging sub-economies, demands need for integratio­n and inclusiven­ess.

“The BIMP-EAGA is the platform, and connectivi­ty is the vehicle” he added.

Tamayo added that Mindanao will benefit from stronger connectivi­ty owing to “its rich potential given its vast product output and quality human resource.”

MinDA chair Emmanuel

“Manny” Piñol said the launch of the new direct flights will boost efforts to link up the members of the BIMP-EAGA. As chair of MinDA, Piñol is the Philippine signing minister for BIMP-EAGA.

For these two direct flights to be sustainabl­e, he said they will intensify promotion of business engagement­s with Manado and Kota Kinabalu to increase trade activities among these areas because “for so long, puro lang estorya ang BIMP-EAGA (it’s just all talk in BIMP-EAGA.”

Piñol said he wants barter trade with Malaysia and Indonesia.

“These flights have cargo components,” he said.

Last September 2019, Garuda Group’s Citylink Indonesia launched twiceweekl­y direct flights between Davao City and Manado, Indonesia.

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