SilkAir plans to resume direct flights between Davao and Singapore

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 17 October) — SilkAir, a wholly owned subsidiary of Singapore Airlines, plans to resume the direct flights between Davao City and Singapore, Mayor Sara Duterte said.

“SilkAir has already reached out. They will work on restoring Davao City-Singapore flights. That’s another good news for Davao City,” Duterte said over the city-owned  Davao City Disaster Radio on Friday.

Duterte’s announcement came four days after she said the city welcomes resumption of international flights by any interested airlines.

Workers take advantage to clean the departure area hours before the last flight left he Davao International Airport on 18 March 2020. All flights were suspended starting 19 March 2020 as part of the efforts to help contain spread of COVID-19. Domestic flights resumed in early June. MindaNews photo by MANMAN DEJETO

She expressed confidence the Davao International Airport (DIA) is ready to accommodate additional flights for as long as the airlines could follow their schedules to prevent convergence of arriving passengers in the airport.

Its last international fligt was in mid-March as the airport closed due to the COVID-19 quarantine.

Generose Tecson, City Tourism and Operations Office chief,  on Saturday said there is no definite date yet as to the resumption of the direct flights between Singapore and Davao. “There is none yet. We are still in the initial talks. We are waiting for head office,” she said.

Aside from SilkAir,  Tecson said Philippine Airlines has expressed interest to resume flights between Davao and Tagbilaran City in Bohol province.

SilkAir currently flies from Singapore to Manila and Cebu, according to the flight schedules published on the website of Singapore Airlines.

The COVID-19 cases in the city are still growing, some of them air passengers who turned out positive for the infection after undergoing a reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test upon arrival at the DIA.

Domestic flights going to Davao from Manila, Clark, and Cebu have been allowed since June 8.

Cathay Dragon’s Davao-Hongkong-Davao and XiamenAir’s Davao-Quanzhou(Jinjiang)-Davao flights were suspended in February while Cebu Pacific’s Davao-Singapore-Davao, Garuda Indonesia’s Davao-Manado-Davao, Qatar Airways’ Davao-Qatar-Davao, and SilkAir in March.

Last July 22, Duterte required swab testing for arriving passengers without “negative” results of reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR), test issued within 72 hours before their scheduled departure from the airport of origin, at the Davao International Airport.

Once cleared, passengers could proceed to a mandatory 14-day home quarantine.

Based on the data released by the City tourism and Operations Office, arrivals in the city through air travel from March to August this year were reported at 128,542, a decrease by 90% from 1,349,730 reported for the same period last year. (Antonio L. Colina IV / MindaNews)