By Antonio Colina IV
DAVAO CITY – Philippine Airlines (PAL) will launch twice-weekly direct flights from Davao City to Manado, Indonesia (Davao-Manado-Davao) and Zamboanga City to Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia (Davao-Kota Kinabalu-Davao) on March 31, 2020, Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) chairman Emmanuel “Manny” Piñol said.
Piñol said the launch of the new direct flights will boost efforts to link up the members of the Brunei, Darussalam-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines East ASEAN Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA), a 25-year old sub-regional economic cooperation initiative in Southeast Asia designed to spur economic development in the lagging sub-economies.
As chair of MinDA, Piñol was the Philippine signing minister for BIMP-EAGA.
For these two direct flights to be sustainable, he said they will intensify promotions 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 all negotiation in the BIMP-EAGA.)”
Piñol said he wants more barter trade with Malaysia and Indonesia.
“These flights have cargo components,” he said.
Last September 2019, Garuda Group had launched direct flights between Davao City and Manado Indonesia.