FLIGHT from Davao City bound for Jinjiang, China is set to resume on Oct. 28, the City Tourism Operations Office revealed.
CTOO officer-in-charge, Jennifer Romero said that Xiamen Air will operate the route twice a week, every Wednesday and Sunday, and is expecting the tourist arrival will increase the same as prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Naa natay gikaistorya nga whole sale travel agency na nagabaligya sa seats for the Xiamen Air, so we will be expecting daghan napud tag mga Chinese nga tourist nga moanhi and mosakay sa atong flight,” Romero said.
The resumption of the flights was confirmed by Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) area manager Rex Obcena during the 74th founding anniversary of the People’s Republic of China on Sept. 21, which was marked by a cake-cutting ceremony during the five-year anniversary of both cities as “Sister City” on Sept. 28.
Following the signing of the sister city agreement in 2018, the first direct flight was launched in the same year. However, flights bound for China were halted prior to the onslaught of the pandemic in February 2020.
Romero told TIMES they will be coordinating with the local tour operator to sell flight packages bound to China for the flights to be sustainable. “Kung naay mopadulong from China to Davao, hopefully, we can also be able to get local travelers to go to China as well, para mag complement ang mga flights,” she added.
The officer in charge said initial talks were made between local travel agencies and wholesale travel agencies in China to do familiarization tours in the partner destination to enable travel agents to learn first-hand about the locations and vice versa.
“Hopefully, operators will come here and check the destinations nato diri sa Davao para they can effectively sell our destination,” Romero said.
Apart from the Davao-Jinjiang flight, Royal Air is also expected to operate Davao-Hong Kong flights by Oct. 8, with a scheduled flight every Thursday and Sunday.
Although Singapore Airlines operations are expected to end by Oct. 31, Scoot will still continue direct flights from Davao to Singapore. Meanwhile, Qatar Airways is still operating the Doha Qatar-Davao routes once a week.
Romero said that the city is collaborating with the Department of Tourism XI to establish an air connectivity council before 2023 ends. The proposal is being drafted and currently awaits the approval of Mayor Sebastian Duterte.
“Ang thrust ani nga council is to really push and promote and help out para we can able to invite more players nga mga airline companies nga maghatag og dugang flights sa atoa sa Davao City,” Romero said.
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