The city government here is offering free rides for air travelers from this city to Davao or General Santos City airports.
“For a month, or until August 18, the city is providing one unit of bus for air passengers going to Manila and returning home via the two neighboring cities,” Mayor Bruce Matabalao said in an interview Tuesday.
“This is to ease the pain of traveling to Davao City or Gen. Santos City airports,” he added, noting that the free ride is exclusively for Cotabato City residents only.
Since June 22, the Cotabato airport has been shut down for commercial, military, and private aircraft due to the ongoing rehabilitation and asphalt overlay in its runway.
The Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) has tentatively set the reopening of the Cotabato airport on August 18.
Matabalao said the buses that will bring passengers to Davao or GenSan airports leave every 8 a.m. and return the next day.
Matabalao said he believes the closure of Cotabato Airport located in adjacent Barangay Awang, Datu Odin Sinsuat, Maguindanao del Norte, has affected the city and the regional economy of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM).
“All the air travelers need to present their plane tickets, either digital or hard copy, to avail of the free bus rides,” Matabalao said.
The Cotabato airport accommodates an average of 150 air passengers daily going to Manila via two domestic flights provided by Philippine Airlines and Cebu Pacific. (PNA)