Tuesday, August 03, 2021

Resumption of international flights to Davao still uncertain

File photo

THE resumption of international flights at the Francisco Bangoy International Airport (Davao International Airport) this year remains uncertain due to the unavailability of flights, the Davao City Tourism Office (CTOO) said.

CTOO head Generose Tecson said in a virtual presser that some airline companies have not yet committed to the resumption for outbound international flights to and from the city.

"It's on the part of the airline companies. They don’t have their schedules," Tecson said during the AFP-PNP Press Corps virtual presser.

Initially, SilkAir said they were going to resume their international flights in the city in October this year. However, due to the current Covid-19 situation not only in the city but in some countries that are currently implementing lockdowns, like Singapore, this might not push through.

Tecson also cited the limitation of the number of passengers the airlines can cater.

This despite the recent issuance of Executive Order 26 on May 6, 2021, allowing the resumption of all kinds of flights, such as scheduled international flights, unscheduled domestic commercial flights (chartered), and other general aviation flights to and from Davao City.

The EO states the removal of all restrictions on flight operations to allow for more economic activities in relation to civil aviation.

The official admitted that the City Government is gearing toward the resumption of international flights.

"Siyempre magiging magandang opportunity po 'yan for the hotels, kasi alam natin na 10 days ang quarantine (It will be a great opportunity for the hotels because we all know they will undergo 10 days quarantine)," said Tecson, who also serves as the Airport Monitoring head.

According to the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) guidelines, international passengers will a undergo 10-day quarantine at the city's facility and will be swabbed on the seventh day before they will be allowed to travel toward their destination and finish their four-day home quarantine.

Recently, various hotels were identified as quarantine facilities for international passengers after these were inspected by the Department of Health, Bureau of Quarantine, and the Department of Tourism.

On Wednesday afternoon, June 16, a total of 99 repatriated Filipino seafarers from Fiji arrived at the Davao International Airport.

Tecson said the repatriation served as a dry run for future international flights in the city.

She said the recent arrival of the repatriated OFWs served as a welcome development for the hotel industry in the city.

"Ready naman tayo (We are all ready) because we have all the [processes] in place at airports, and even with our hotels. This is a welcome development because at least 'yung (our) economic activity nila medyo gagana na (will gradually recover)," the official said.


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