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ZAMBOANGA CITY – After getting a major face lift with the completion of its development projects, a revitalized and upgraded Zamboanga International Airport will soon expand its flight routes to and from Southeast Asian destinations, Transportation Secretary Art Tugade revealed Tuesday, 28 September 2021. 
Based on the approval of Secretary Tugade and the local government of Zamboanga City, the airport may start international flight expansion and kick-off its international operations with the approval of Zamboanga-Kuala Lumpur flights by its Malaysian counterpart.
“Zamboanga International Airport is ready for international operations. It has long been prepared for this. The airport can start international operations through the Zamboanga-Manila-Kota Kinabalu route. But we have to wait for our Malaysian counterpart for the Zamboanga-Kota Kinabalu flight,” Tugade said. 
Tugade added that once Philippine Airlines (PAL) submits its proposal for an international flight accommodation with other Southeast Asian nations, the country’s flag carrier may soon start its day operations at the airport. 
Meanwhile, PAL Senior Assistant Vice President for Philippine Sales Harry Inoferio said international flight destinations include Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; Jakarta, Indonesia; Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam; and Bangkok, Thailand. 
Inoferio said once quarantine restrictions in the Philippines and other countries are eased, the country’s flag carrier will start accommodating international flights in the fourth quarter of 2022. 
“‘Yung regional flights natin, kung sakali, ‘yung flights galing—pwedeng Kuala Lumpur, pwedeng Jakarta, pwedeng Saigon (Ho Chi Minh) at Bangkok. Depende sa takbo ng preparation. Marami kasing protocols, requirement ngayon,” he explained. 
“Maraming moving parts na kailangan ayusin. Kailangan namin ng go signal mula sa government authorities. Depende ‘yun sa timeline nila. Kasi sila ‘yung magbibigay ng go signal samin. Basta may demand ng ruta, we will be willing to consider that,” he added. 
Tugade assured that apart from the completed development projects, more development projects will be undertaken by the CAAP to further improve and accommodate international flights at the Zamboanga International Airport. 
Zamboanga International Airport development projects include the expansion of its runway, apron and taxiway, Tugade said. 
Tugade further stated that Zamboanga International Airport is already primed to accommodate international tourists, which will lift Zamboanga City’s commercial, tourism and economic status. 
DOTr Press Release
29 September 2021