THE National Economic Development Authority (Neda)-Davao said the region has already met its 2017 targets in terms of air linkages.
"As of the first semester of 2017, the Fancisco Bangoy International Airport (FBIA) is connected to 10 domestic and one international destination. With this annual targets for both indicators were already achieved," said Priscilla Sonido, Neda-Davao officer-in-charge and assistant regional director, during the opening ceremony of the 28th National Statistics Month yesterday at the Pinnacle Hotel and Suites, Davao City.
The current number of domestic flights execeed the targeted seven domestic flights for 2017 under the Davao Regional Development Plan (DRDP) 2017-2022. For the international flights, only one air connectivity has been targeted.
Existing domestic route includes Davao to Manila, Clark, Cebu, Iloilo, Bacolod, Puerto Princesa, Tacloban, Kalibo, Zamboanga City, and Cagayan de Oro City. The Davao-Singapore route is the only existing international flight at FBIA and is being operated by Cebu Pacific and SilkAir, the regional wing of Singapore Airlines.
Based on the DRDP 2017-2022, it can be noted that the number of domesitc routes at FBIA is also much higher as compared to the baseline year of 2015 where domestic routes are only six. If domestic and foreign routes are to be combined, in 2015 there are seven routes at FBIA while as of the first half of 2017, there are already 11 routes.
"It will be even higher effective November 1 with more flights connecting Davao to other cities. Data (Davao Tourism Association) welcomes this development because more tourists and visitors will discover and experience Davao City. We will even have more foreign visitors coming from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia by December with the direct flight from Davao to Kuala Lumpur," said Data president Gatchi Gatchalian in a text message to SunStar Davao.
On November 1, Philippine Airlines is set to launch the Davao-Tagbilarn route while AirAsia Berhad (flight code AK) will launch flights between Davao City and Kuala Lumpur on December 21.
Davao City Tourism Operations Office (CTOO) head Generose Tecson said "the growth can be attributed to the airlines' confidence in Davao as a destination not only for tourism but for investments. This is not only because of the President coming from Davao but also because of the strong leadership exhibited by Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio and the City Government of Davao and the earnest desire of our private sector to be part of the development of the city."