The country?s flag carrier Philippine Airlines launched its Davao-Siargao flight from Davao International Airport on Sunday.
PAL?s inaugural flight to Siargao PR2379 took off 7 a.m. with 68 passengers on board to the surfing capital of the Philippines.
A sent-off ceremony was held at Davao airport Gate 5 departure area with city government, PAL officials and guests. The same aircraft — Bombardier Q400 touched down at Davao airport from Siargao early Sunday with 21 passengers.
Rabbi Vincent Ang, Assistant Vice President for Commercial Development of PAL Express, said PAL would fly from Davao-Siargao four times weekly.
He said the opening of the Davao-Siargao flight is part of PAL?s expansion and commitment to the government to provide inter-island connectivity to boost business and tourism activities after opening the Davao -Tagbilaran, Davao -Zamboanga, and Davao-Cagayan de Oro flights.
Ang said PAL was also finalizing plans to launch international flights from Davao.
?Davao is now PAL?s Mindanao hub,? he told reporters in an interview. He said Davao was the biggest market in Mindanao and the third largest market next to Manila and Cebu.
?We are trying to move bigger aircraft to accommodate the big volume of passengers,? he disclosed. Although, he said the expansion would depends on the capacity of the runway.
Tourism Secretary Wanda Teo asked PAL to increase international connectivity from Davao especially Davao to any cities in Japan.
Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio in her speech read by Councilor Mabel Sunga-Acosta also hoped for more flights and lower fare rates.
The mayor cited PAL for the successful launching of Davao-Siargao connectivity. She was thankful for choosing Davao City as one of the direct linkages to Siargao.
She thanked PAL for launching the maiden just in time for its hosting of the World Triathlon Competition — the Alveo Ironman 70.3.
Duterte-Carpio said Davao and Siargao are two prime destinations in the country.
?Davao Life is Here and Siargao as Surfing Capital of the Philippines are two taglines that capture how these two connectivity bridges two areas in Mindanao that are to prime destinations in the country,? the mayor said.
Duterte-Carpio said the city is excited to welcome visitors who will experience the different sites in the city and other areas in the region. (PNA)