Tourism Secretary Christina Garcia Frasco urged more direct flights from the US to the Philippines
Frasco urged United Airlines to explore direct routes to the Philippines’ secondary gateways, including Clark International Airport, Mactan Cebu International Airport, and Davao International Airport
United Airlines on November 3 began operating daily non-stop flights between San Francisco and Manila
Tourism Secretary Christina Garcia Frasco pushed for more direct flights from the US to the Philippines in a recent meeting with executives of United Airlines (UAL).
Frasco urged UAL to explore direct routes to the Philippines’ secondary gateways, including Clark International Airport, Mactan Cebu International Airport, and Davao International Airport.
Future collaborations with the Department of Tourism (DOT) were also discussed following the start of the San Francisco-to-Manila non-stop maiden flight on November 3.
At the meeting, UAL president Janet Lamkin and vice president for international regulatory and policy government affairs Steve Morrissey thanked the Philippine government for facilitating UAL’s inaugural flight from San Francisco to Manila, which Lamkin described as the “most requested route we’ve ever done, particularly here in the Bay Area.”
Frasco, part of President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr’s official delegation to the US for the 30th APEC Summit, also thanked the UAL executives, saying the flight is “a great vote of confidence in the Philippines,” adding it means “you are confident enough in the volume, and the interest in the fastest-growing economy in Asia.”
In 2022, the US was the Philippines’ top primary source market, contributing 505,089 arrivals from February to December 2022, representing 19.03% of the country’s total international arrivals (by nationality).
The latest DOT report covering January to November noted the US maintained its position as the second-largest source market for the Philippines, following South Korea, with 814,062 arrivals, constituting 17.43% of the country’s total international arrivals (by nationality).
The DOT has identified improving connectivity as a strategic approach under the National Tourism Development Plan 2023-2028, in line with the government’s positioning of the country as a “tourism powerhouse” in Asia.
Since 2022, the tourism department has been pushing for the development of additional routes and the reinstatement of flights halted due to the pandemic.