DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 31 May) – Direct flights from Davao City to Hong Kong and Jinjiang are expected to resume this year after being suspended for more than three years due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a business leader said.
Arturo Milan, co-chair of the Regional Development Council-11, said during “Wednesdays Media Forum at Habi at Kape” that Cathay Pacific and XiamenAir plan to revive Davao-Hong Kong-Davao and Davao-Jinjiang-Davao flights during the second semester of the year.
International flights from the Davao International Airport (DIA) were ordered suspended in February 2020 at the onset of an outbreak of a “mysterious disease” in mainland China, which would later develop into a pandemic.
These airlines used to have five times a week and twice weekly flights to Hong Kong and Jinjiang, respectively, before air connectivity was suspended as a measure to stem the spread of the disease.
Direct flights to Singapore and Doha, Qatar earlier resumed. Scoot and Singapore Airlines service the route to Singapore, and Qatar Airways the Doha route from DIA.
Milan added they plan to meet with Malaysian Consul General Deddy Faisal Bin Ahmad Salleh on how they can revive flights to Kuala Lumpur and Kota Kinabalu in Malaysia.
Meanwhile, Milan said the government plans to continue the expansion of DIA to accommodate more flights and passengers, and the possibility of constructing additional international flights in another location.
He said among the areas being considered as another location for a new airport are Tagum City, Panabo City, Davao City, Island Garden City of Samal, and Davao Occidental.
He said the “unsolicited proposal” of Chelsea Logistics Holdings Corporation of Davao-based business tycoon Dennis Uy for the modernization of DIA is currently under review by the National Economic Development Authority-Investment Coordination Committee.
Last February, NEDA-11 director Maria Lourdes Lim said the Department of Transportation returned the “unsolicited proposal” to Chelsea as it asked the firm to comply with the revised Implementing Rules and Regulations of Republic Act 6957, as amended by R.A. 7718, also known as the Build-Operate-Transfer Law.
She said the October 19, 2022 amendments to the IRR require the private proponents to provide a more transparent system to evaluate and implement big-ticket projects under a public-private partnership scheme and put in place a “greatest value and reduction of risk” management system. (Antonio L. Colina IV/MindaNews)