PAL eyes 5 int’l routes for Davao

FLAG carrier Philippine Airlines (PAL) is boosting its Davao hub as it is evaluating possible direct air linkages between five international destinations following the call of the Department of Tourism on tapping the Davao International Airports for these routes.

Dr. Jaime J. Bautista, president and chief operating officer of PAL, said yesterday in a press conference at Marco Polo Davao that they are studying the possibility to launch air connectivity from the city and Japan, South Korea, China, Taiwan, and Palau.

“We are constantly studying (the possibility) to have international routes from Davao,” Bautista said.

On the Davao-Japan route, for instance, he said they are looking to connect to Tokyo via the Narita International Airport. The Davao-Palau route proposal, meanwhile, was pushed by a business group based in Palau.

The other plans to link from the city to South Korea, China and Taiwan are being reviewed by the airline company on the viability to have chartered flights.

In PAL’s press statement, the conduct of review on the proposals stemmed after Tourism Secretary Wanda Corazon T. Teo requested the flag carrier to launch international routes from Davao International Airport, also known as Francisco Bangoy International Airport.

The flag carrier has yet to have an international route from the city.

Arturo M. Milan, president of Davao City Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCCII), said on Wednesdays @ Habi at Kape that the need to have air connectivity with Japan, for instance, was also pushed by the Japanese tourism industry stakeholders.

“We have already talked with the tourism industry players and they want to launch the route before Kadayawan,” Milan said, adding that there were two airline companies, which are both flag carriers that bared interest to service the air link.

Another airline company, he said, is also planning to revive the Davao-Hong Kong connectivity soon while Qatar Airways as well bared interest to launch an air link from the city to Qatar. He said the local business chamber hoped that the plans would come into fruition and become sustainable with the staging of different events to continuously attract tourists.

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