Arroyo Praises Local Airline

September 20, 2007 at 11:09 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

PAGADIAN CITY, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / 20 Sept) – President Gloria Arroyo praised local carrier South East Asian Airlines (SEAIR) for its commitment to help increase commercial activity and tourism in Mindanao by opening up new routes in the region.

The President recently graced the inaugural flight of SEAIR’s Cebu-Pagadian-Cebu route which would make traveling easier and at the same time promote tourism and trade, the Philippine News Agency said.

The Clark-based SEAIR now flies to Cebu-Pagadian-Cebu every Mondays and Thursdays. The new route is part of the airline’s expansion plans for the year.

SEAIR president Avelino Zapanta said the airline reaffirms its commitment to help increase commercial activity and tourism in Mindanao.

Since the opening of a regional hub in Zamboanga City in 2002, SEAIR currently flies daily to Sulu and Tawi-Tawi provinces in southern Philippines and to Cotabato three times a week.

Zapanta said SEAIR aims to bridge the Philippine islands by offering secondary and missionary routes to complement the trunk line routes serviced by other major players in the domestic airline industry.

The airline now flies to 15 local tourist destinations — Manila, Caticlan (Boracay) and Cebu in Visayas; Clark in Northern Luzon; Busuanga, Cuyo, El Nido, Puerto Princesa City and Rodriguez in Palawan province, Camiguin, Cotabato, Sulu, Pagadian City, Tawi-Tawi province and Zamboanga City in Mindanao.

“Our Cebu-Pagadian route will make traveling for tourists and businessmen easier. Pagadian City has become more accessible, now only 35 minutes away from Cebu via SEAIR,” Zapanta said.

Pagadian City is a first class city of Zamboanga del Sur and is the regional center of the Zamboanga Peninsula, the largest province of Western Mindanao.

It serves as gateway to the cities of Ozamis, Iligan and Cotabato.

“As the only local commercial airline offering inter-Mindanao flights, we at SEAIR feel that we have been a factor in the growth of commerce in the region. Our future focus is to develop tourism and international routes out of Zamboanga and Davao,” said Zapanta.

For its Cebu-Pagadian route, SEAIR uses its 32-seater Dornier 328 aircraft — the latest in a long line of technologically innovative aircraft manufactured by Germany’s Dornier.

The Dornier 328 is one of the fastest and most advanced jet propulsion in the world.

Aside from local expansion, SEAIR is positioning itself to enter the international market after its appointment as one of the official carriers for the Brunei-Indonesia-Malaysia, Philippines East Asian Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA) region.

Tourism Secretary Ace Durano said 2007 is a milestone year for Philippine tourism as more than 1.5 million foreign tourists arrived at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) in the first semester alone, an almost eight percent growth over the same period last year.

With more local and national efforts to promote the Philippines, the rate of tourism influx can go higher in 2010, he said.

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