DAVAO City has remained a top destination for the country's flag-carrier, Philippine Airlines, as passenger traffic flying in and out of the financial hub of Mindanao continues to grow.

In 2009, PAL increased its number of daily flights to six from its four daily flights the year before.

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"During low season, we register around 75 to 80 percent load of passengers while during the peak season we have about 95 to 98 percent," Enrique Javier, PAL vice president for sales, said in a press conference Friday.

On Friday, PAL also launched its latest offering, the giving away of over 70,000 seats as the company approaches its 70th year anniversary in 2011.

Part of its year-long celebration, a series of promotional events will be launched by Asia’s first airline company.

For starters, a total of 16,000 seats will be given away in a raffle promo for tickets purchased online. The free tickets to be given away will be the same route and class as the winning ones.

As PAL celebrates its 69th year today, March 15, it also announced the resumption of flights to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia and to Brisbane in Australia.

Riyadh is the sole destination of the flag-carrier in the Middle East, while the Brisbane flight will bring the total number of destinations in Australia to three, including Melbourne and Sydney.

The new flights will bring PAL's international destinations to 26, in addition to 20 domestic destinations.

The Manila-Brisbane flight will begin on March 17 and be offered twice weekly.

The Manila-Riyadh flight will begin on March 28 and will be available four times a week.