THE Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (Caap) in Davao has noted a 31 percent increase in the volume of passengers on international flights from January to October 2019 compared to the same period in 2018.
In the period of January to October 2018, the agency recorded a total of 117,284 passengers of international flights. But this volume is surpassed in the same period of 2019 with 153,713. There is a hike of 36,431 passengers.
These would not have been possible if not of the additional direct international air routes established in the city in the last few years.
On October 28, 2018, Hong Kong's flag carrier Cathay Pacific Airways Limited (CPA), also known as Cathay Pacific or Cathay, launched its direct flights from Davao to Hong Kong using their A320 aircraft, which offers Business and Economy classes.
Cathay was followed by XiamenAir, an airline based in Fujian Province in China. It has been carrying passengers twice weekly from the city to Quanzhou, China, and vice versa with their flight MF8679 since December 18, 2018, using their airbus Boeing 737-800.
In the middle of 2019, a direct flight to Doha, Qatar was opened to the people of Davao with the launching of the Qatar Airways flight QR936 on June 18, 2019, being the first long-haul flight in Mindanao. The Boeing 787 Dreamliner used for this flight is said to have the capacity of 22 seats in Business Class and 232 seats in Economy Class and flies only every Friday.
And on September 27, 2019, Indonesia's flag carrier Garuda Indonesia revived its air linkage with Davao City with the aim to improve trade and relations between the member states of the Brunei Darussalam-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines East Asean Growth Area (Bimp-Eaga). It uses ATR 72-600 economy class aircraft that can seat 70 passengers flies from Davao to Manado in the North Sulawesi region. It operates twice weekly, every Monday and Friday.
Caap-Davao airport manager Rex Obcena, in a previous interview with SunStar Davao, attributed the surge of international flights to the economic growth of the city and Davao Region as a whole.
"Naa gyud siguro silay nakita sa Davao nga potential economic factor nga naka-entice sa ilaha to come in (Maybe, they have seen a potential economic factor in Davao that enticed them to come here)," Obcena added.
There seems to be no stopping Davao City from soaring to greater heights.