THE Philippine and Indonesian governments are seeking to re-establish air connections between Davao City and Manado.
In a statement on Monday, the Department of Transportation (DoTr) said Philippine Ambassador to Indonesia Leehiong Wee and Indonesian Ambassador to the Philippines Sinyo Harry Sarundajang signed the statement of commitment “promote the re-establishment of flights between Davao to Manado.”
Manado is the capital city of North Sulawesi province in Indonesia.
“The re-establishment of the Davao — Manado flights is an enhancement of the Air Transport Agreement between the two nations that was signed on 24 March 1972, which further resulted in the Expansion of Air Linkages between Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines (BIMP) in 2007, where Davao and Manado were the designated points,” the DoTr said.
Flights between Davao and Manado were halted years ago due to lack of passenger traffic.
“We are very happy with this development. This shows that the Philippine and Indonesian governments are both working to improve bilateral relations, as well as make the region more competitive in the face of global challenges,” Transportation Secretary Arthur P. Tugade was quoted in the statement as saying.
Transportation Undersecretary for Aviation Manuel Antonio L. Tamayo said a local carrier will visit Manado in the coming days to check the route’s viability. An Indonesian carrier was also reported interested to open flights for the new route.
“Davao is an economic powerhouse in the country and Manado is both a business center and a gateway to some of the many exciting activities in Indonesia. Together, we will make wonders,” Mr. Tamayo said in the statement.
“Apart from trade and tourism, there are also students from Manado studying in Davao and other cities who now do not have to travel to Jakarta to board a plane to Manila only to board another connecting flight to Davao,” he added. — D.A.Valdez