DIRECT flight from Zamboanga City to Kota Kinabalu in Malaysia will start operating in March 2020.

Mindanao Development Authority (Minda) secretary Emmanuel Piñol bared the direct flight has finally been approved.

“This is in pursuit of our desire to link up the Bimp-Eaga (Brunei Darussalam-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines-East Asean Growth Area. We have to promote business engagements,” he said at the sidelines of the launching of the Mindanao Water Supply Project at a hotel in Davao City.

Piñol admitted that there have been challenges with the trade between Davao and Indonesia as supposed to be strengthened by the Davao to Manado air link revived in September this year.

“Puro ra man to istorya-istorya tong Bimp-Eaga (It’s always talks, no actions). We cannot even bring our fruits to Manado because of their strict restrictions. We are talking of barter trade but it is a one-way affair,” he said.

He said the new flight will be serviced by the Philippine Airlines (PAL).

In the previous news, Minda executive director Romeo Montenegro said the airline is said to have a new Bombardier Q400 that will allow it to serve regional routes. It also has a firm order of 12 Bombardier Q400s.

He added the aircraft is viable for short haul flights.

The estimated travel time between Zamboanga City and Kota Kinabalu is one hour. (RAG)