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New Mindanao flight route to boost tourism

Posted in Mindanao, Rest and Liesure, Tourism, Transportation, Travel by Erineus on May 18, 2009

By Ryan Rosauro
Inquirer Mindanao
First Posted 17:24:00 05/17/2009

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, Philippines—Northern Mindanao’s tourism industry could get a boost with budget carrier Cebu Pacific’s opening of its Davao-Cagayan de Oro route, a local tourism official said Saturday.

The new route is a “good connection” for international flights to Davao City, which is fast becoming Mindanao’s international hub, with direct flights from Indonesia, Hong Kong and Singapore, said Catalino Chan, tourism director for Northern Mindanao.

Davao City is also the country’s main link to the Brunei Darussalam-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines East ASEAN Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA), he said.

Chan said the expected increase in tourist arrivals would also spur the economies of nearby tourism service-providing localities in Northern Mindanao such as Camiguin, Bukidnon and Lanao del Norte.

The Gokongwei-owned carrier opened the 50-minute Davao-Cagayan de Oro route last Thursday, with flights every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday.

Using a 72-seater ATR aircraft, the flight leaves Davao City at 6 p.m., and returns to the city at 7:10 p.m.

Before Cebu Pacific opened the route, tourists going to Northern Mindanao have to fly to Manila or Cebu before flying to either Butuan or this city.

For those flying into the country via the Davao Airport, the only option then was land transport, which takes about eight hours to this city.

In Ozamiz city, Mayor Reynaldo Parojinog Sr. said Cebu Pacific also announced that it would open a Manila-Ozamiz flight.

Cebu Pacific’s vice-president for marketing and distribution, Candice Iyog, confirmed this, saying the new route would start on June 16, with an Airbus A319 aircraft.

The route will likely be serviced four times a week, she said.

The Manila-Ozamiz route is currently served only by Air Philippines, another budget airliner.