On December 18th, China’s Xiamen Airlines officially launched its Davao to Quanzhou direct flight, marking the opening of Davao’s first direct flight route to Mainland China. The new flight service is set to provide a bridge in the air for the economic and trade exchanges between Davao and Jinjiang of Quanzhou as sister cities.
Davao has thus become the fourth Philippine city where Xiamen Airlines operates direct flights, after Manila, Cebu and Kalibo. As the airline company enjoying the largest share of the commercial flight market between China and the Philippines, Xiamen Airlines has been facilitating the exchanges between the two nations through its flight network for 32 years in a row.
Davao’s First Direct Flight Route to Mainland China
Quanzhou, one of the three central cities in China’s Fujian Province, holds the distinction of being the only UNESCO-accredited starting point of the Maritime Silk Road. A large number of ethnic Chinese in the Philippines trace their ancestry to Quanzhou as well. Davao, the third largest Philippine city, is one of the leading cities in the country in terms of interaction with China.
In October, the Consulate General of the People’s Republic of China in Davao officially opened. At the inauguration ceremony, China’s foreign minister Wang Yi specifically introduced Xiamen Airlines’ Davao-Quanzhou flight route, stating that it “is set to inject fresh vitality into the development of Davao and the southern part of the Philippines.” In November, Davao and Jinjiang of Quanzhou were paired up as sister cities, creating a solid platform for both cities to deepen goodwill cooperation and exchange on all fronts.
The Davao-Quanzhou flight route is serviced with Boeing 737s. The flight departs from Quanzhou Jinjiang International Airport at 09:00 every Tuesday and Friday, arriving in Davao at 12:15. The return flight leaves Davao International Airport at 13:15, arriving in Quanzhou at 16:30. It is currently the only direct flight between Davao and Mainland China.
The opening of the flight route not only provides ethnic Chinese in the Philippines with a fast and convenient “through bus in the air;” it also significantly facilitates business travels between China’s Fujian Province and Davao, and is expected to boost economic, trade, cultural and tourist exchanges between the two regions.