Garuda Indonesia Launches Manado-Davao Route
Indonesia’s national carrier Garuda Indonesia has opened a new route from the city of Manado in Indonesia’s eastern province of North Sulawesi to Davao city in southern Philippines.
The decision was made a follow-up on the Indonesia-Philippines Air Transport Agreement signed on 24 March 1972 and the MoU on Expansion of Air Linkages between Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines (BIMP) in 2007.
Indonesian Ambassador to the Philippines Sinyo Harry Sarundajang stated that the idea to open the route began with his meeting with the Philippines Ambassador to Indonesia Lee Hiong Tan Wee on 1 September last year.
Both of them have agreed to encourage the opening of Manado-Davao route to enhance cooperation in trade, tourism, and investment between the two neighboring countries.
“Since then, various efforts have been made to encourage airlines from both countries to explore the opening of these flight routes,” Sarundajang said in his remarks at the welcoming ceremony of Garuda Indonesia at Davao’s Fransisco Bangoy International Airport on Friday (27/9).
Sarundajang expressed hope that the route will also improve connectivity between the peoples of Indonesia and the Philippines.
Davao City and Manado, he added, are cities with growing economic activities which can become business and tourism gates to other places in Indonesia.
In the meantime, Indonesian Consul General in Davao City Dicky Fabrian said that the improved connectivity through the opening of the route is one of important achievements in the 70 years of bilateral relations between Indonesia and the Philippines.
The opening of the flight routes is also expected to strengthen bilateral cooperation in various sectors, he added.
The Garuda flight route from Manado to Davao City is an alternative solution for tourists from the Philippines, especially from the Mindanao island to visit Manado and other cities in Indonesia.
For the record, Garuda Indonesia will operate the route twice a week on Mondays and Fridays.
As many as 8,745 people of Indonesian descent currently live in the Mindanao region and around 5,000 Filipinos and their descendants live in Manado and other cities in North Sulawesi province. (Dit. Astara & KJRI Davao City/ES).
Translated by : Fairuzzamani Inayatillah
Edited by : Ridwan Ibadurrohman, M. Ersan Pamungkas