Japanese tourism board mulls Davao-Japan airlink

THE Japanese tourism board is aggressive in finally bringing a direct flight from Davao to Japan before the Kadayawan Festival, said Davao City Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Inc. (DCCCII) official.

Arturo Milan, president of DCCCII, said there has yet to be a final destination in Japan, however, Tokyo, Haneda, or Nagoya are being eyed for the Davao-Japan air connectivity.

“We believe on the viability of the route because there are a lot of Filipinos in Japan as well as Japanese who wanted to travel to Davao directly without passing anymore either Manila or Cebu. In fact the travel agencies that we talked to really wanted a direct flight from Japan to Davao and vice versa,” said Milan.

Two of the airline companies in the Philippines are being considered in this route, however, a number of necessary requirements are still being studied and finalized including the reciprocal agreement between the airlines and the Japanese airport destination.

It was January of this year when Milan first announced this interest of the tourism board to launch a direct Davao-Japan flight. Parties involved in the planning of the direct flight include Davao-based business groups and two Japanese tourism sector groups. These same Japanese groups also plan to bring the Japanese Tourism Bureau in Davao City to be part of the discussions. Milan then said this is the Japan’s biggest tourism bureau.

Nothing is final and specific yet as far as the schedule of the official launching of this flight however Milan assured that with the aggressiveness and dedication of the Japanese tourism board to launch the direct flight, it may possible be opened to the public by August in time for Kadayawan.

“If we are targeting Japanese tourists, then we have to have a complete package, not only for Davao but probably also for Mati, Surigao, and the nearby component cities to make the tourism package to be more exciting and attractive to the Japanese,” Milan said in an earlier interview emphasizing the possible future means to sustain the direct flight traffic.

Davao to Hong Kong direct flight

Aside from the new direct destination Japan, Milan said the previous airline that used to cater to Davao-Hong Kong direct flight eyes to revive it.

“I just got the information that an airline wanted to reopen [the route]. I cannot divulge which airline that is because I think they are still trying to evaluate whether to reopen but I think they are already looking at the possibility…They wanted to reopen probably because there are a lot of tourists wanting to connect from Hong Kong to Davao, so that’s one reason that I can speculate why they are considering reopening of the route,” Milan said adding that nothing is definite yet as of the moment.

In an earlier interview with committee chair on Tourism and International Relations councilor Al Ryan Alejandre December of last year, he said the city government is already talking with Cebu Pacific for the establishment of the Davao-Hong Kong flight.

He added what triggered the talks on international direct flight to and from Davao is the current high demand of passengers for it.

Milan said the reason the flight was cut the first time was the very limited demand of passenger traffic but the demand had increased and is currently different from the last time.
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