PAL Express to launch Davao-Manado, Zamboanga-Kota Kinabalu routes

Aviation Updates Philippines – In a bid to further strengthen its regional international services, PAL Express plans to open direct flights from Davao, Philippines to Manado, Indonesia and Zamboanga, Philippines to Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia beginning Summer 2020.
FIRST INTERNATIONAL FLIGHTS. The launching of PAL Express' newest flights to Malaysia and Indonesia from the Philippines marks the first international services of the flag carrier through Mindanao.
In a post from Routesonline, the Philippine carrier will launch the new direct international services from the two Mindanao airports starting March 31, 2020. The Davao-Manado and Zamboanga-Kota Kinabalu routes will be flown thrice-weekly every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday.

Contrary to what was reported, the official timetable presented by Philippine Airlines shows the launch date to be on March 29, 2020 for both routes.

For the Davao-Manado sector, flight 2P-2979 will depart from Davao at 3:00pm and will arrive in Manado after an hour and 45 minutes. For the return, flight 2P-2980 will depart from Manado at 5:45pm and will land back in Davao at 7:30pm.

On the other hand, flight 2P-2527 will depart from Zamboanga at 8:00am and will arrive in Kota Kinabalu at 9:45am. After a turnaround time of an hour, it will then depart as 2P-2528 to Zamboanga at 10:45am and will arrive at 12:30pm.

All flights will be operated by the airline's 78-seat De Havilland Canada Dash 8-400.

Reservations are not yet open; however, bookings are expected to start as soon as regulatory approvals are acquired.

Recently, Indonesia's flag carrier Garuda Indonesia launched bi-weekly direct flights between Manado and Davao on-board the ATR 72-600 aircraft. The service was inaugurated on September 27, 2019 — just a few days after its public announcement.

Garuda is PAL Express' sole competitor on this route. However, the Philippine carrier remains unopposed for its upcoming Zamboanga-Kota Kinabalu route.

Cebu Pacific, through Cebgo, once marketed flights to Sandakan, Malaysia from Zamboanga on-board the ATR 72-600 which was supposed to start on October 29, 2017. Unfortunately, internal reasons prompted the cancellation of reservations prior to its inauguration.