DAVAO CITY — The Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) expressed optimism at the deepening of ties between this city and Jianjiang City in China, following Thursday’s announcement of the resumption of cross-border flights between the two cities by China’s Xiamen Air beginning next month.

Marking the 5th anniversary of sisterhood agreement between the two cities on Thursday, Consul General Zhao Xiuzhen of the Consulate General of the People’s Republic of China in Davao presented Mayor Sebastian “Baste” Z. Duterte with a replica of an airplane, signaling the resumption of Xiamen Air’s weekly servicing of the Davao-Jinjiang route.

“I think they will initially operate once a week to test the market. We are hopeful that if we go by their load factor in 2019 they might be able to see the opportunity,” Engineer Rex A. Obcena, manager of Davao International Airport (DIA), said in an earlier interview.

On her end, Secretary Mabel Sunga-Acosta, chair of MinDA, is optimistic that this development would improve travel options, boost cross-regional tourism, and deepen economic collaboration. — Maya M. Padillo