By Masiding Noor Yahya
September 26, 2019
DAVAO CITY: After closing several routes and reducing flight frequencies in response to new airfare policy, Indonesia’s flag carrier ‘Garuda Indonesia’ will launch on Friday its maiden flight for its new route from Manado in Indonesia’s North Sulawesi to Davao City.
Garuda Indonesia president director Ari Askhara said that this first regular service that directly connects Manado and Davao aims to provide seamless connectivity for customers.
“Hopefully this route could also help support development cooperation in economics, investment, trade and tourism between Davao as one of the business centers in the southern part of the Philippines and many regions in North Sulawesi,” he added in a statement released on Wednesday.
In terms of tourism, Davao is reported to have welcomed up to 2.3 million visitors throughout 2018. “This serves as an interesting opportunity for [Indonesian] tourism as this direct flight service may help lure tourists in Davao to continue their journey to Manado’s tourist destinations,” added Askhari.
This is not the first time that an Indonesian airline has serviced the route Davao-Menado route.
In the 1990’s, the Bouraq Indonesia Airlines was operating passengers flight in the route in support of strengthening Indonesia and the Philippines relationship in the light of the Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines-East Asean Growth Area (BIMP)-EAGA).
But Bouraq was reported to incur losses and had to stop its Davao-Menado route passengers operation.
The upcoming all-economy-class flight is to be available two times per week on Monday and Friday using an ATR 72-600 that can accommodate 70 passengers.
According to the schedule, flight GA 7401 is to travel from Manado’s Sam Ratulangi International Airport at 10:30 a.m. (Indonesia’s local time) while the return flight GA 7402 is to depart from Davao’s Francisco Bangoy International Airport at 1:15 p.m. (MNY/RSP)