ONCE established and operational by next year, the Davao International Airport Authority (DIAA) will push for more international flights, officials from Davao Tourism Association (Data) revealed.
Data president Nicole Hao Bian Ledesma expressed the need for increased connectivity and more flights to the city.
She believes that with the support of the private sector and the government, Davao City should be attracting more airlines and improving connectivity with other key nearby international cities. This, in turn, would lead to lower costs for travel to destinations like Singapore, benefiting both the local community and tourists.
For instance, for Singapore-Davao flights, Ledesma said distance and proximity hold back foreign tourists from going to and from Davao.
“The proximity can also be a challenge because there are a lot of low-cost airlines offering better rates in neighboring Asian countries compared to Davao,” Ledesma said.
As for Data auditor Pia Partoza Montano, she said Singaporeans value affordability when traveling. Hence, she added that once DIAA becomes operational, it will help entice more international tourists to appreciate Davao Region. The discrepancy between domestic and international flights in DIA is also a factor that the authority must address primarily.
“If we have Davao Airport Authority, I believe we will have more opportunities for more flights coming in, kasi ima-market nila is the gateway at the same time the destination, not just Davao City but again the region,” Montano said.
Both officials were part of the Davao delegation during the Singaporean Business Mission last September 26.
Ledesma highlighted an interesting observation regarding Singaporean tour operators, which was that out of the 35 tour operators present, only one to two had visited Davao, while the majority were unfamiliar with the location.
Currently, the Singapore-Davao direct flight is served by Singapore Airlines since it took its first flight to Davao City on April 1, 2022. The route will be served by Singapore Airlines’ 162-seat Boeing 737-800 aircraft, with Singapore-Davao-Singapore flights flying every Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday arriving in Davao at 2 p.m. and departing for Singapore at 4:05 p.m. ICE