2 Indonesian airlines want Davao-Manado route

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/5 March) – Two Indonesian airline companies are eyeing to connect Davao and Indonesia anew within the year.

Krizia Tan, president of Davao Travel Agencies Association, told reporters over the weekend during the 3rd Mega Travel Sale at Abreeza Mall that Garuda Airlines and yet another Indonesian company are planning to have direct flights between Davao and Indonesia.

“That other company is currently under negotiation. Those two airlines might finally push through their plans mid this year,” she said.

Part of the plan is to reopen the Davao-Manado route twice a week, on Mondays and Thursdays. Manado is the capital of North Sulawesi province.

Earlier, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) reported that both Jakarta-based Lion Air, a budget airline in Indonesia, and Manila-based Zest Air have expressed to operate the Davao-Manado route.

The DFA said talks of revival came after talks between Jose Burgos, the new Philippine Consul General in Manado, and Dr. Sinyo Harry Sarundajang, the governor of North Sulawesi on Jan. 4.

“The two officials discussed the resumption of direct flights between Manado and Davao. Direct flights to the two cities ceased in 2008,” the department added. The operations ceased in 2008 after the airlines observed a small load factor from Indonesia to Davao and vice versa.

Former Indonesian Consul General Lalu Malik Partawana said earlier that there is a need for both government and the private sector in making the routes active through policy changes and investments.

“If tourism is good, then trade will be better,” he said.

The Davao-Manado route was earlier serviced by different airline companies like the government-run Bouraq Airlines, Wings Air and Merpati Airlines, a sister company of Indonesia’s flag carrier Garuda Airlines. (MindaNews)