John Gokongwei opens Zamboanga-Sabah route as Cebu Pacific expands in Southeast Asia
ZAMBOANGA CITY — Cebu Pacific (CEB), the country’s leading airline owned by Bilyonaryo John Gokongwei, announced the expansion of its international route network and presence in Southeast Asia as it opens its new Zamboanga-Sabah flight service via the city of Sandakan.
“Sandakan has had centuries of trade and cultural linkage with the southern Philippines, and we are especially proud to put in place infrastructure to further enhance these ties. Now, the previous 14-hour travel by sea is cut down to just a 40-minute airplane ride,” Alexander Lao, President and CEO of Cebgo, said.
CEB said the new Zamboanga-Sandakan route supports the drive for seamless logistics connectivity within the Brunei-Indonesia-Malaysia- Philippines East Asia Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA).
CEB announced that through its affiliate, Cebgo, it wiould operate its first international route out of Zamboanga City with four flights per week to Sandakan starting on October 29 this year.
CEB said in a statement Friday that the flights were scheduled every Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday.
The one-way flight takes one hour and 30 minutes. It leaves this city at 1:45 p.m. and arrives in Sandakan at 3:15 p.m. The return flight then leaves Sandakan at 4 p.m. and arrives in this city at 5:30 p.m.
The BIMP-EAGA, which was created in 1994, comprises Mindanao; the entire Borneo Island which is divided between Brunei, Indonesia and Malaysia; and other Indonesian islands such as Sulawesi and Maluku.
Its creation was meant to harness capabilities to turn the entire area into a thriving economic and tourism zone.