Garruda Indonesia announced a high passenger load for the entire month of December last year for its Manado-Davao flight.
Assistant Secretary Romeo M. Montenegro, deputy executive director of Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) disclosed that from a low of 50 percent load since the launching of the Davao-Manado by Garruda Air in October last year, flights have been booked during the entire month of December last year up to the first half of January this year.
“You cannot book a flight because it is fully booked kasi nag pick-up na siya. At nag arise ng consciousness especially for many Filipinos in that area na there is now better opportunity to fly to the Philippines and not going to Jakarta and Manila but through Davao City using this route,” Montenegro said.
The flight is available twice weekly, on Mondays and Fridays using an ATR 726-600 aircraft that can accommodate 70 passengers.
Montenegro said the high load was validated by Garruda Air particularly the Manado-Davao route.
“This is validated by Garruda Air that fully booked na especially the Manado-Davao kasi ang dami nagka-interest pumunta sa Davao and for the Davao-Manado, we are looking at the local travelers or traders to use this route,” he said.
Montenegro said this is the kind of scenario that they hope to be able to sustain and they intend to accomplish it this quarter with the launching of the Davao-Manado route and Zamboanga-Kota Kinabalu route- both by PAL Express.
He said the expected entry of PAL Express by March this year is expected to further increase the number of flights or the availability of daily flights.
“Kasi ngayon twice weekly lang tayo with Garruda. Next week we are expecting about 20 from Manado who have expressed interests to enjoy our “sabungan”. We can become an en enterntainment area for this,” Montenegro said.
Montenegro added that they are also expecting for Davao to be able to provide the medical tourism via these routes because many of those in Manado would rather fly to Davao to get their medical procedures done in the hospitals here that are also accredited by the Jakarta hospitals than them flying to Jakarta, which is very costly.