AFTER AirAsia expressed interest in making Davao City as its regional hub, the tourism and business industries in Davao Region are optimistic of additional Davao direct flights and a separate AirAsia terminal to be established in the Francisco Bangoy International Airport (FBIA).
During the 4th Turismo Café organized by the Davao Tourism Association (DATA) at Marco Polo Hotel last Tuesday, August 1, DCCCII chairman Tony dela Cruz said they are looking forward to more Davao direct destinations initiated by AirAsia including flights to Kota Kinabalu, Macau, Bangkok, Jakarta, and Myanmar.
Dela Cruz said DCCCII had previously endorsed AirAsia causing the launching of the Davao-Kuala Lumpur direct flight. He added they will continue to do so while President Rodrigo Duterte is still popular among the other Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) members.
“From what I know, Tony Fernandes has committed to have more direct flights from Davao. When we have that hub, I think they would want to have their own terminal. That is very important because they would also want to drive down the cost,” said DOT Davao Regional Director Robby Alabado.
Dela Cruz also said that their optimism stems out from the fact that AirAsia funded and constructed the Kuala Lumpur International Airport 2 without their government spending anything.
Alabado added that it would be advantageous for Mindanao to have an international airline deciding to make Davao City its regional hub for it will definitely open new international direct destinations. He said it will not only be a regional hub for the Philippines but as well as the Asean.
Dela Cruz also challenged the national tourism sector to “strike the iron” while investors are currently very much interested in investing in Mindanao.