January 2019 musings: Ease of travel to exciting destinations

Of Apples and Lemons

THE journey is as exciting as the destination. True. But let me add this: the journey is best enjoyed in comfort.

Point in case: fly direct to the destination. Or if not, move from one flight to another with ease and reach the destination in least possible time. The opening of Cathay Dragon's Davao to Hong Kong direct flight is a most welcome one. It added to the existing international direct links of Singapore Airlines and Cebu Pacific to Singapore and beyond. While on the domestic scene, the carriers, Philippine Airlines, Air Asia and Cebu Pacific have made it easier for the Davaoeños to reach favorite destinations with a single hop (aka one-plane-ride-away destinations).

But there are international destinations that remain popular to us sans the direct flights. How to get there with ease? Cathay Pacific and Singapore Airlines offer options. From Davao to its hubs in Hong Kong and Singapore respectively, the airlines can fly you anywhere in the world.

Other airlines are working double time as well. Take PAL for example, it's opening new routes from Manila soon-direct flights to Hanoi, Phnom Penh and New Delhi. Just like our other choice spots, we reach it via the Manila airport.

PAL's new Manila-Hanoi link is exciting, and making Hanoi an even more irresistible destination is the team of Paradise Vietnam. Under the mother company's umbrella are chic boutique hotels in Hanoi, stylish ships that cruise the famed Halong Bay, and a full service travel agency that can customize your travel across Vietnam-from Hanoi to Saigon, and even to Cambodia's Phnom Penh and Siem Reap. The company can make your trip not only special but memorable as well.

However, for us in Mindanao, the via Cebu airport route to the final destination is getting to be a popular choice-wiser, in fact. Why? First, it's nearer, thus fares are cheaper and travel time is shorter than a Manila airport stopover; and second, Mactan Cebu International Airport (MCIA) Terminal 2 is new, modern and provides a remarkably comfortable and convenient service to transient passengers. Traveling through Cebu airport is a wiser route.

Since the upgrades of MCIA by GMR Megawide Cebu Airport Corporation (GMCAC), it has been awarded twice, in 2016 Asia Pacific Small Airport of the Year and 2018 Asia Pacific Medium Airport of the Year, by CAPA Aviation Awards.

On a recent sales mission in Davao to update travel agents of the new flights and different connections out of MCIA, GMCAC partnered with Philippine Airlines, Cathay Pacific, Emirates, PH AirAsia, Cebu Pacific, and two new airlines providing new direct routes to international destinations- TigerAir Taiwan (Cebu-Taipei), China Southern Airlines (Cebu-Guangzhou) and Juneyao Airlines (Cebu-Shanghai Pudong).

Representatives of PAL, AirAsia and Cebu Pacific, airlines that connect Davao to international destinations via Cebu, said that passenger load via this route has increased. The number may grow in the coming months with new destinations offered by former and new airline companies servicing Cebu.

On your next domestic or international destination, you may want to consider MCIA as the gateway to your final destination. It's a shorter and more convenient way to travel. Remember, the shorter the trip to the destination means more time to enjoy the place.

For more lifestyle features, visit www.ofapplesandlemons.comFor travel stories, visit www.jeepneyjinggoy.com Email me at jinggoysalvador@yahoo.com


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