DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 13 November) — The All Nippon Airways (ANA), the largest airline in Japan, is considering the possibility of establishing a direct air linkage between Tokyo and Davao City, according to Art Milan, President of the Davao City Chamber of Commerce and Industry Inc. (DCCCII).
Milan said in an interview on Wednesday that the establishment of a direct flight between the two cities was among the discussions during the six-day business mission to Tokyo, Hitachinaka, and Saitama from November 4 to 8, 2019.
He said Davao business leaders sat down with the ANA executives and briefed them on the tourism potentials here as well as the existing foreign airlines that are flying directly to the city.
“It’s too early to tell. We were surprised with ANA. Wala sa ilang radar screen ang Davao City (Davao City was not yet on their radar screen), so when we presented (they asked) what’s Davao? Why Davao? Then, they got curious,” he added.
He said they raised with ANA the need for Davao to have a direct flight to Tokyo after receiving no response from the country’s flag carrier Philippine Airlines (PAL) and budget airline Cebu Pacific when the local government invited them to explore this opportunity.
He added Davao is a more popular destination for foreign airlines.
“There was endorsement coming from the City Mayor about the petition we made last year for PAL to fly to Japan directly,” he said.
There are now five international destinations from the Davao City International Airport: Davao to Manado via Indonesia’s Garuda, Davao Hong Kong via Cathay Dragon, Davao-Doha via Qatar Airways, Davao-Quanzhou via Xiamen Air, Davao-Singapore via SilkAir and Davao-Singapore via Cebu Pacific.
“We have more foreign airlines flying to Davao. Maybe, Davao is more attractive to foreign airlines,” Milan said.
But he noted that ANA was concerned with the security condition in Mindanao.
“It appears (Davao is) not on the radar screen in terms of flight expansion plan. It was timely that we went there to introduce and to say there is potential in developing the route,” he said. (Antonio L. Colina IV / MindaNews)