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SEAir flies Puerto Princesa-Kota Kinabalu twice a week PDF Print E-mail

DAVAO CITY, Jan. 27 (PNA) -- Fresh from the debut of its Puerto Princesa-Kota Kinabalu flight last November 2008, Southeast Asian Airlines (SEAir) now flies the route twice a week, ushering a more upbeat outlook on tourism in the Brunei Darussalam-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines East ASEAN Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA).

The Philippine domestic carrier, which features the 32-seater Dornier 328 aircraft, will have flights from Puerto Princesa to Kota Kinabalu every Tuesday and Friday, from the initial once-a-week schedule.

Felisa Torres, Puerto Princesa City Tourism Council (CTC) president said the routes should be promoted intensively and marketed competitively for it to be sustained.

Torres earlier said in a news article that this is a welcome development that will help boost their local economy.

SEAir president Avelino Zapanta earlier said in an article that the airline will look into increasing the frequency of flights on the route to twice a week in January, depending on the response.

Meanwhile, their tourism counterparts in Sabah also showed the same enthusiasm citing a slight tourist increase from the Philippines to Sabah during the first semester of 2008.

"We are very optimistic that with the strengthening of this air link we can further boost the tourism and economy of both countries and in turn fortify efforts of the BIMP-EAGA cooperation," according Undersecretary Virgilio Leyretana, Mindanao Economic Development Council (MEDCo) chair.

Leyretana said MEDCo acts as the Philippine coordinating office for BIMP-EAGA in which Mindanao and Palawan are its focus areas.

The SEAir inaugural flights scheduled last November 28 commenced from Clark to Caticlan to Puerto Princesa to Kota Kinabalu.

Established in 1995, SEAir started its operations with two nine-seater airplanes. To date, SEAir has flown almost three million passengers to 12 local tourist destinations.

Leyretana added that the opening of another economic gateway in Palawan is "a milestone in encouraging interest in Mindanao and Palawan as the Philippine EAGA focus areas, especially in the area of tourism and trade."

BIMP-EAGA is a major collaboration to boost the socio-economic development among poor regions of its member-countries by strengthening policies that will enhance the movement of people and goods.

EAGA members are pushing for more regular air connections to link the four countries to the rest of the world and accelerate the planned integration of EAGA's tourism development. (PNA)

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