Resumption of international flights in Davao City on hold until July

Photo by RJ Lumawag

RESUMPTION of international flight at the Francisco Bangoy International Airport (Davao International Airport) remains suspended until the end of July this year, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio said.

Duterte-Carpio said on Monday, June 22, that the date of the resumption of international flights was moved following a meeting with the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (Caap). June 22 was the originally scheduled date for the resumption of international flights.

Among the airline companies that canceled their international flights are Cebu Pacific, Cathay Pacific, and Silk Air. Cathay Pacific operates flights between Hong Kong and Davao City while Silk Air and Cebu Pacific operate flights between Davao and Singapore.

Caap-Davao airport manager Rex Obcena also confirmed the announcement of Duterte-Carpio in a Sunstar Davao phone interview.

Obcena also said that airline companies did not disclose their reasons for the cancelation.

But he said they will have another reassessment with the airlines in the middle of July on the resumption of the international flights.

"They're taking this one step at a time," Obcena said.

He added that airline companies are given discretion on whether to push through with their flight schedule based on the viability of the number of passengers booked on a flight.

Meanwhile, Duterte-Carpio said since the domestic commercial flights resumed last June 8, the city government has not recorded any passenger that tested for the Sars-CoV-2, the virus causing the coronavirus disease (Covid-19).

"Based on their assessment for the first 12 days since the resumption of the commercial domestic air operations on June 8, so far, in terms of our confirmed Covid-19 cases, it is still manageable," Duterte-Carpio said in an interview via 87.5 FM Davao City Disaster Radio.

However, according to Davao City Health Office (CHO) head Dr. Josephine Villafuerte in a previous radio interview, that one passenger from Manila failed in the health screening upon arrival.

Villafuerte said the passenger was immediately brought to the Southern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC).

The mayor was not able to disclose additional information during her radio interview.

Meanwhile, the mayor has requested from CAAP officials if they could request airline companies to add more domestic flights, especially for the Manila-Davao-Manila route since it is most "in-demand" flight right now.

The gradual resumption of the air flights to the city is in accordance with the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) omnibus guidelines dated June 3, which allows land, sea, and air travels within general community quarantine (GCQ) and modified GCQ (MGCQ) areas.

Davao City has been placed under GCQ since May 16, while other provinces in Davao Region are under MGCQ.

Meanwhile, Duterte-Carpio urged Dabawenyos to refrain close contact with returning passengers until the mandatory 14-day quarantine ends.

"Mag remind ta sa atong kaigsuunang Dabawenyo nga kung duna mo'y kauban sa balay, member of your household, or silingan nga bag-ong abot gikan sa ubang lugar, make sure nga di mo muduol sa ila, and i-make sure nga mag comply sila sa 14-day quarantine (I am reminding Dabawenyos who have household members or neighbors who arrived from other areas, make sure you don't go near them. Also, monitor their compliance with the 14-day quarantine)," Duterte-Carpio said.


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