New Indon Airline Launches Davao-Manado Flight

Nov. 30, 2006

DAVAO CITY– Close on the heels of the successful Trade Mission of Southern
Mindanao’s Jose Abad Santos-Glan-Sarangani (JAGS-CT) Cooperation Triangle to
Indonesia last September, a new Indonesian airline company has started serving the
Davao-Manado (Indonesia) route today boosting trade ties between the Philippines
and Indonesia, which are both under the development thrust of the East Asean Growth
Area (EAGA).

The Jakarta-based Sriwijaya Air uses Boeing 737-200 to provide an alternate service
the Davao-Manado route, which is currently being served by Merpati Airlines. The
airline launched its maiden flight to Davao yesterday and was welcomed with
ceremonial program by local officials and tourism players here.

For its regular run, Sriwijaya is scheduled to fly every Monday and Thursday,
arriving in Davao City at 10:00 am, and leaving for Manado at 10:45 AM. The airline
can accommodate 124 passengers and can carry cargo up to 3.5 tons in weight.

“The new additional flight directly connecting Davao and Manado is an affirmation
of growing vibrancy on the potentials for tourism, trade and investment within the
BIMP-EAGA, said Undersecretary Virgilio Leyretana, Chair of the Mindanao Economic
Development Council (MEDCo).

Leyretana said that the new Davao-Manado air link is a welcome addition to the
existing air and sea linkages from Mindanao to Indonesia. Mindanao is currently
connected to Indonesia through the Davao-Manado flight by Merpati Airlines and the
direct shipping services of M/L Aljamar covering Glan (Sarangani)-Tahuna-Bitung
(Indonesia) sea route which started in October.

“Sriwijaya’s Davao-Manado flight is expected to contribute to our aim of enhancing
trade and socio-cultural links. I hope this air route will be sustained, as it will
certainly boost Mindanao’s ties with Indonesia,” Leyretana added.

In October this year, a five-day Trade Mission was initiated by the JAGS-CT (Jose
Abad Santos-Glan-Sarangani Cooperation Triangle) local government and private
sector players to explore possible areas of partnership with their Indonesian

Headed by Sarangani Governor Miguel Rene Dominguez and Philippine Special Envoy for
BIMP-EAGA Efren Abu, the trade mission was able to secure a Memorandum of
Understanding (MOU) between the Municipality of Glan and the City of Bitung in
Indonesia, which established a sister-city cooperation in the areas of education,
socio-culture, tourism, fisheries, marine resource, as well as trade and commerce.

“Things are looking up between Mindanao and Indonesia and we really have to support
these initiatives,” Leyretana stressed.

A four-country meeting of BIMP-EAGA leaders has been slated next week in Cebu,
ahead of the ASEAN Summit to discuss progress of the sub-regions development
roadmap and projects. (MEDCo)

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