Davao-Manado route revived

Subscribe Now June 13, 2012 at 02:13pm

Wings Air, a unit of Indonesia’s Lion Air, will resume next month its weekly Davao-Manado service four years after suspending the route. The airline company replaces Cebu-based Mid-Sea Express which stopped flying the route last April, a month after the launching.

Mid-Sea Express had used a 19-seater Jetstream 32 aircraft.

Indonesian Consul General Eko Hartono, who was at the city’s airport for a chartered flight of Wings Air on Thursday, said he hopes this latest venture would be sustained.

“This is a big leap forward for both countries,” said Mr. Hartono.

In order for Wings Air to sustain its service, it needs a passenger load factor of about 80%, the Indonesian official said.

One way to sustain the Davao-Manado air service, said John Goldeto T. Baricuatro, president of John Gold, a travel company, is to promote the two areas as tourism and business destinations.

“Our plan is to lure tourists so they can visit our city and nearby areas,” said Mr. Baricuatro.

The company has decided to use an ATR 72-500 aircraft, a 72-seater plane, which is smaller than the 54-seater aircraft it used in 2008.

The regular weekly flights would start on July 5. Mr. Hartono said the service would strengthen the links between the two countries, which are both members of the Brunei-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines East ASEAN Growth Area.

Flights between the two cities take about an hour and a half.

The one-way air fare, based on previous services, had been less than $200.

In previous years, Manado traders flying from this city were reported to have brought with them cosmetics as well as liquor in bulk.

Manado is the capital and commercial hub of North Sulawesi province.

Source: bworldonline.com

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