Cebu Pacific's 72-seater ATR aircraft

NORTHERN Mindanao’s top tourism official is expecting more foreign tourist arrivals in the region with a new flight between Davao and Cagayan de Oro City.

On Thursday, the Gokongwei-owned Cebu Pacific Air opened its newest air route — the 50-minute Davao-Cagayan de Oro flight.

Regional tourism director Catalino Chan said the new route “is a good connection from the international flights from Davao.”

Davao City is the country’s major platform for connecting with the BIMP-Eaga region comprising its neighbors Brunei, Indonesia, and Malaysia. Together with the Philippines, these comprise the touted East Asian Growth Area.

Chan is optimistic an increase in foreign arrivals in Cagayan de Oro would also spur the economies of nearby tourism service-providing localities in Northern Mindanao like Camiguin, Bukidnon and Lanao del Norte.

The Cebu Pacific flight service is every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. Using a 72-seater ATR aircraft, the flight leaves Davao at 6 p.m., while the turnaround flight leaves Cagayan de Oro at 7:10 p.m.

The Davao-Cagayan de Oro travel route is traditionally served by passenger buses and vans, taking from six to eight hours. More than six years ago, it used to be serviced by a flight but was only short-lived.

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