Home » Aviation, Ports/Terminals, Press Releases » Davao-Manado air service revived, twice weekly flights on

Investment and tourism activities between Mindanao and North Sulawesi, Indonesia are seen to get a further boost with the revival of the air service connecting Davao and Manado, according to the Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA).

The re-launch of the Davao-Manado route, serviced by Indonesian carrier Garuda Indonesia, was commemorated with the September 27 maiden flight of an ATR 72-600 aircraft, which has an all-economy-class configuration capable of carrying 70 passengers. Regular flights started on September 30.

“This is a strategic route under the transport and connectivity of the BIMP-EAGA (Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines-East ASEAN Growth Area) that strengthens Mindanao, through Davao, as gateway in ASEAN,” MinDA secretary Emmanuel Piñol said in a statement. BIMP-EAGA is a sub-regional economic cooperation of four Association of Southeast Asian Nations member countries designed to spur economic development.

“We are happy with this development because this opens wider economic opportunities especially in tourism and trade, Mindanao has a lot to offer,” Piñol added.

Garuda chief executive officer Ari Askhara is also optimistic that the new service will boost economic and cultural ties between North Sulawesi and Mindanao.

“We do hope that this Davao-Manado service will further boost economic, trade and tourism activities, offering easier access for travelers in Davao, one of the central business city in southern Philippines, to various destinations in North Sulawesi,” Askhara said.

Garuda, in a separate statement, said that with 2.3 million people travelling to Davao in 2018, the new service will be a potential opportunity for Manado tourism. The service is also expected to attract tourists from Davao wishing to explore other leading tourist destinations in Manado and other cities in North Sulawesi.

Passengers can fly nonstop between Manado and Davao twice each week, Mondays and Fridays, between Sam Ratulangi International Airport in Manado and Francisco Bangoy International Airport in Davao.

BIMP-EAGA Facilitation Centre head Susanna Chew, meanwhile, said that for the air link to be sustainable, complementary economic efforts must be pursued.

“Both countries should look at larger economic and long-term partnerships by creating meaningful economic activities between the two areas to encourage more travelers and economic exchange,” Chew said.

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