On December 18, 2018 Xiamen Airlines officially launched its Davao to Quanzhou nonstop 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 Nonstop 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’sFujian Province and Davao, and is expected to boost economic, trade, cultural and tourist exchanges between the two regions.
Xiamen Airlines opened direct flights between Manila and Xiamen as early as November 1, 1986, making it one of the first Chinese carriers to offer direct flights between China and the Philippines. In recent years, Xiamen Airlines has devoted a greater part of its transportation capacity to the Philippines, providing vital air transportation support for the exchanges between the two nations on various fronts.
Before the opening of the Davao-Quanzhou flight route, Xiamen Airlines’ flight network covered three Philippine cities – Manila, Cebu and Kalibo, with six flight routes – Manila–Xiamen/Quanzhou, Cebu-Xiamen/Fuzhou, and Kalibo-Hangzhou/Fuzhou. These flights routes connected to all major cities across China. There were 34 flights a week on these routes, with an accumulative total of 7,690 flights and nearly 1 million passengers, giving Xiamen Airlines the largest share of the commercial flight market between the two nations.
Going forward, Xiamen Airlines will devote greater resources to flights between the two countries to create a flight network that offers regular services between major Philippine cities and China’s Fujian, Beijing and Hangzhou, which are the bases of Xiamen Airlines. This is expected to further facilitate the economic and trade exchanges between the nations.
Since 2015, Xiamen Airlines has opened 11 intercontinental flight routes to Amsterdam, Sydney, Melbourne, Vancouver, Seattle/Tacoma, New York, Los Angeles and Paris. Its flight network now covers Europe, North America and Oceania.
Top Copyright Photo (all others by the airline): Xiamen Air Boeing 737-85C WL B-5708 (msn 38403) SIN (Pascal Simon). Image: 940566.
Xiamen Air aircraft slide show: