Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Zamboanga-Sandakan-KK routes launching soon

KOTA KINABALU: Russian-Filipino owned Mosphil Aero Incorporated is set to launch its Zamboanga-Sandakan-Kota Kinabalu maiden flight in October this year.

The Department of Tourism regional director Recardo San Juan said Mosphil’s top officials had announced that they were on its final stages to help realize the much awaited international route.

Speaking to NST Business here yesterday, he said the regional airline would get the green light from the Air Transportation Office (ATO) and permit from the Civil Aviation Board (CAB) in the Philippines soon, to pave the way for the resumption of the Zamboanga-Sandakan-Kota Kinabalu route.

According to him, Mosphil maiden flight was initially set for today, a day before the opening of the 15th Mindanao Business Conference (Minbizcon) in Zamboanga City.

However, he said the flight was postponed to early October due to documentations requirements which need to be completed as required by the relevant government authorities.

“Mosphil officials are very keen to open the Zamboanga-Sandakan-Kota Kinabalu route again because of the high passenger traffic,” Ricardo said.

He said the resumption of the route would see Mosphil operating three direct flights weekly starting Oct 2.

He further disclosed that the air carrier would use its latest Russia-made Antonov 24, a medium- size aircraft which has a capacity of 48 passengers and can carry at least five tonnes of cargos.

As part of the technology transfer programme of the company, Ricardo said the Russian crew would initially man the aircraft while their Filipino counterparts were being trained at the Antonov training centre in Kiev, Unkraine.

He said the resumption of the route would boost the tourism sector in Zamboanga City.

Aside from Zamboanga City, NST Business was also informed that Mosphil Aero has also identified the province of Jolo, Tawi-Tawi and Davao City as key areas for its services in Mindanao.

It was also learned that Mosphil officials onboard the Antonov aircraft are scheduled to arrive at the Sandakan Airport today as part of its proving flight exercise.

Courtesy of New Sabah Times

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