Direct flights to boost Bimp-Eaga
Published on: Thursday, December 12, 2019
By: Nikko Fabian
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DAVAO CITY: Travelling from Davao City to Manado in Indonesia and Zamboanga City to Kota Kinabalu City will be easy for people in the region, thanks to the initiative of Philippine Airlines (PAL) three months from now.

The direct flights are designed to spur economic development in the Brunei, Darussalam-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines East Asean Growth Area (Bimp-Eaga) region and the demand for integration and easy mobility and connectivity for people Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines.

Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) Public Relation Officer Adrian Tamayo confirmed that Philippine Airlines will launch the twice-weekly flights from Davao City to Manado, Indonesia and Zamboanga City to Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia on March 31, 2020.

He said this is a move that shows these routes have gained economic and financial viability.

“This is a result of both increasing interests between the two areas in trade and tourism, and the growing population which would naturally, move from place to place,” Tamayo stressed.

Tamayo said PAL Express will service the new routes every Tuesday and Thursday.

Tamayo expressed confidence that the “long history of cultural integration and the intermix of tradition and customs bearing strong resemblance of Mindanao, Manado and Kota Kinabalu” will ensure the sustainability of the new routes.

He reiterated that the growing population in Bimp-Eaga, a 25-year-old sub-regional economic cooperation initiative in Southeast Asia designed to spur economic development in the lagging sub-economies, demands need for integration and inclusiveness.

“The Bimp-Eaga is the platform, and connectivity is the vehicle” he added.

Tamayo said Mindanao will benefit from stronger connectivity owing to “its rich potential given its vast product output and quality human resource.”

MinDA Chair Emmanuel “Manny” Piñol said the launch of the new direct flights will boost efforts to link up the members of the Bimp-Eaga.  As chair of MinDA, Piñol is the Philippine signing minister for the Bimp-Eaga.

For these two direct flights to be sustainable, he said they will intensify promotion of business engagements with Manado and Kota Kinabalu to increase trade activities among these areas because “for so long, puro lang estorya ang BIMP-Eaga (it’s just all talk in BIMP-Eaga.”

Piñol said he wants barter trade with Malaysia and Indonesia.

“These flights have cargo components,” he said.

Last September 2019, Garuda Group’s Citylink Indonesia launched twice-weekly direct flights between Davao City and Manado, Indonesia.


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