DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 12 Oct)—After almost four years, Xiamen Air will resume direct flights between Davao City and Quanzhou, China beginning October 29.
Arturo Milan, co-chair of the Regional Development Council-Davao, said that the resumption of the direct connectivity would support recovery efforts in tourism and trade with China from the impact of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
The twice weekly Davao-Quanzhou-Davao flights were launched on December 18, 2018, but were halted in February 2020 amid reports of an outbreak of a “mysterious virus” emanating from a seafood market in Wuhan, China.
The route was served by Xiamen’s Boeing 737.
“With the resumption, we should be able to attract more Chinese tourists to come not only in Davao but also in other parts of Mindanao,” Milan said.
He added that the business sector expects agricultural trade to increase, benefiting small growers of fruits like durian, avocado, pineapple, mangoes, dragon fruits, and other highly perishable crops.
He said that this would also present an opportunity for tuna producers and fishers from General Santos City and Mati, Davao Oriental to export tuna to China.
Milan said Mindanao could benefit from the direct connectivity because it could access “cheap but high quality products in China that we don’t produce locally.”
“However, to get the full benefit of this resumption of the Davao-Quanzhou-Davao flight, we need to prepare well by having a holistic and sustainable plan on how to create economic activities not only for Davao but for Mindanao,” he said.
Last October 8, the Royal Air Philippines launched twice weekly direct flights between Davao City and Hong Kong.
Department of Tourism (DOT)-Davao director Tanya Rabat Tan said the direct flight would improve travel connectivity as it offers a convenient and direct access between Davao and Hong Kong.
The company’s 150-seater Airbus A319 aircraft services the route on Thursdays and Sundays, with estimated travel time of three hours and 10 minutes. (Antonio L. Colina IV / MindaNews)