THE Davao-Jinjiang-Davao and Davao-Hong Kong-Davao direct flights are set to resume in October this year, according to Rex Obcena, the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (Caap) Davao area manager.
Obcena revealed these developments, saying, "In fact, in October, we are expecting the resumption of our Davao-Hong Kong [flight], but this time around, it will be serviced by Royal Air." He made this announcement during an interview with the media at the 74th founding anniversary of the People's Republic of China on Thursday evening, September 21, at the dusitD2 hotel.
The new Davao-Hong Kong direct flights are scheduled to operate twice a week, as confirmed by Royal Air in a press release. The flights will specifically run on Thursdays and Sundays.
Flight RW-4001 will depart from Hong Kong at 11:55 a.m. (UTC+8) and is expected to arrive in Davao at 3:05 p.m. (UTC+8). The return flight, RW-4000, will depart from Davao at 4:05 p.m. and is anticipated to reach Hong Kong at 7:15 p.m.
Davao-Jinjiang flights, Obcena said they have not received a formal notice from Xiamen Air. However, based on initial discussions, Xiamen Air has expressed interest in operating flights once a week.
"Regarding Xiamen Air, we are hopeful to resume flights, ideally by October. Based on our discussions with their team, they have already sent their management from China. Initially, they plan to operate once a week, perhaps to test the market," Obcena said in a mixture of English and Cebuano.
These developments come at a reasonable time, as the Francisco Bangoy International Airport has gradually increased the number of flights, with international stakeholders beginning to return. Obcena also noted that passenger numbers at the airport have nearly reached pre-pandemic levels.
"Ang atong average passengers naa na sa 10,000 passengers a day, both incoming and outgoing, going by that trend towards the year's end halos mapantay nato 'tong 2019 kasi sa 2019 naa ta sa 11,000 daily average of passengers (Our average daily passenger count has reached 10,000, considering both incoming and outgoing flights. If this trend continues towards the end of the year, we will almost match the passenger count of 2019, which stood at an average of 11,000 passengers per day)," Obcena said.
Currently, the only international route serving Davao is Singapore-Davao-Singapore, operated by Singapore Airlines, Scoot, and Cebu Pacific. Before the pandemic, Davao had other global air connections, including Hong Kong, served by Cathay Dragon and Manado, Indonesia, via Garuda Indonesia. ICE