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DAVAO CITY, Philippine – Japanese counterparts in the tourism industry are aggressive in bringing opening a direct flight between Davao City and Japan in time before the Kadayawan festival in Davao City on August.

This was bared by Arturo Milan, president of Davao City Chamber of Commerce and Industry Inc. (DCCCII) during the regular Habi at Kape press conference on Wednesday.

Milan said that a meeting is set with representatives from the Japanese Tourism Board to discuss the plan as they wanted to establish the route before the celebration of one of the city’s biggest events, the Kadayawan Festival.

He said nothing is official yet but the cities of Tokyo, Haneda, and Nagoya are being considered for the flight connectivity.

“We’re aggressively pushing for the Japan-Davao-Japan. We believe in the viability of the route because there’s a lot of Filipinos in Japan as well as Japanese resident who want to travel to Davao directly without passing anymore either Manila or Cebu,” said Milan.

Milan added that two Philippine flag carriers are being eyed to launch this route, however, the reciprocal agreements between airlines and the airport of the destination in Japan are still being finalized.

On Thursday, the carrier Philippine Airlines announced that it is in the process of assessing the request of the Department of Tourism to launch international routes directly from the Davao International Airport including a point in Japan.

In October last year, a 22-member Davao City delegation travelled to Japan to promote the city as a tourism and investment destination and strengthen partnerships with Japan in terms of investments, trade and tourism.

READ: Japan’s second biggest city commits to promote Davao

The Japanese government and some private organizations have already signed joint ventures with the local government of Davao, including the solid waste management Grassroot Project, the biodiesel plant in Maa, and the Mindanao Railway project.

The city’s ties with Japan can be traced back during the World War II, when early Japanese migrants resided and worked in the abaca plantation in Barangay Mintal here and is known as Mindanao’s Little Tokyo.

The said village is being developed to be a tourist spot with the help of the Tourism Infrastructure and Investment Zone Authority (TIEZA).

Other direct flights

Milan also revealed that an airline previously offered a Davao-Hong Kong flight is planning to reopen the route.

“I just got the information from an airline — I cannot divulge (its identity) because it is still trying to evaluate whether to open, but it is already looking on reopening this route. They have this Davao-Hong Kong flight before, They wanted to reopen probably because there’s a lot of tourists wanting to connect from Hong Kong to Davao,” said Milan.

He said the limited demand of passenger traffic was the reason why the route was dissolved.

Last month, the Qatar Airways announced during the ITB Berlin, the worlds largest international travel fair, that Davao City is among the 16 new destinations where they are set to launch between 2018 and 2019. However, Milan said there is still no specific time when it will be launched. (

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