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Additional flights eyed

TECSON

THE CITY government is looking at three additional flights for the three airlines servicing the Davao-Manila route even as it has intensified its health protocols at the Francisco Bangoy International Airport in the prevention of the coronavirus pandemic.

The city government is also waiting for the opening of the Iloilo airport as there is a plan to resume the flight between the two areas, said Regina Rosa D. Tecson, head of the City Tourism Operations Office.

“We are ready for one flight each per airline for Manila,” said Tecson during an online business writers forum hosted by SM City Davao and supported by San MIguel Foods.

At present, she said, the three airlines – Air Asia, Cebu Pacific and Philippine Airlines – are servicing three destinations using the city international airport: Manila, Clark and Cebu. Each airline services the Davao-Manila route twice a day.

However, she said, the travellers using these airlines are not tourists, but are stranded individuals either local or foreigners.

She added the city government has also agreed to allow airlines to embark on hybrid flights, or flights that will allow transportation of cargo alone in entering the city and for its turnaround flight will also include passengers.

The city government, she added, has intensified the implementation of the health protocols to ensure that the spread of the virus can be minimized as well as to show to the Interagency Task Force for the Management of Infectious Emerging Diseases that it is also ready to accept international flights.

About two months ago, she said, Mayor Sara Duterte requested that flights between Singapore and Hongkong, but the task force will still be the one to decide whether to allow these flights to take place.

Among the actions that the city government has implemented in relation to the pandemic is that it has set up an isolation facility at the airport as incoming passengers who have not undergone reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction test.

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