The Philippines has taken another step towards an integrated flight network with two new routes serving Davao City.
Cebu Pacific is now running regular services from the Mindanaoan city to Dumaguete and Tacloban.
The airline’s subsidiary Cebgo will fly on Monday, Wednesday and Friday to and from Dumaguete, and on Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Saturday to and from Tacloban.
The fare from Davao to Dumaguete is pegged at 2,590 pesos and and at 2,142 for Davao to Tacloban.
Airline spokeswoman Charo Logarta Lagamon said: “Cebu Pacific remains bullish over prospects in Mindanao.
“We remain optimistic that new routes would benefit not only Davaoeños, but Mindanaoans in general, in terms of strengthening family and cultural ties, fostering domestic tourism and education exchange, and helping harness trade and business opportunities.
“Our new intra-island routes provide Mindanaoans convenient air connections; and support the government’s push for more infrastructure investments in Mindanao.”
Ping Remollo, the Mayor of Dumaguete, said: “My hats off to Cebu Pacific for being the pioneer in Dumaguete; for coming in during the time when no other airline would fly to what was considered then a missionary route.
“The new Davao-Dumaguete route will usher in more flights and improve connectivity. It will increase economic development, extending beyond Negros Oriental to nearby Siquijor; and link Davaoeños and Dumagueteños closer.
“The Dumaguete City Council will work with our Davao counterpart to forge a partnership between our cities for tourism development.”
Davao City councillor Danilo Dayanghirang, representing Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio at the launch, said: “The Philippines is becoming smaller because of Cebu Pacific.
“We look forward to more flights between cities around the country as we move towards a stronger Philippines.”
Mrs Lagamon said the new routes would also boost trade and industry in the south. “Additional routes also expand our cargo service capability,” she said.
“This will mean faster and more efficient means for traders, exporters and entrepreneurs to move their products and raw materials; or for our overseas Filipinos to be able to send their packages back home easier.
“We are optimistic that the overall improvement in our cargo logistics network in Mindanao will boost the local economy.”
The new Davao routes join existing Cebu Pacific services to Cebu, Bacolod, Cagayan de Oro, Iloilo, Zamboanga and Manila — the last of which is now served by four daily flights.
The airline also runs a direct flight to Singapore twice a week from Davao.