Change is in the Air: Philippine President Flies Economy

Maintaining his simplistic lifestyle, President Duterte set yet another example as the country's chief executive when he boarded a commercial flight from Manila to Davao last week. The new President of the Philippines shunned all special treatment at Ninoy Aquino International Airport including the use of the Presidential private jet as he walked through security just like a regular passenger.

president duterte
Photo Credit: Presidential Photographers Division/King Rodriguez
In an article published in the Philippine Star, photos released by the Presidential Communications Office showed President Duterte seated in Premium Economy Class aboard a Philippine Airlines flight bound for Davao. Duterte sat at a window seat aboard flight PR1825 that departed Manila at 9:00pm last Thursday night.

Other photos showed Duterte walking through the x-ray and metal scanners, raising his arms for inspection, just like a regular passenger as he walked to his boarding gate at Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 2. 

duterte humble president
Photo Credit: Presidential Photographers Division/King Rodriguez
Passengers at the airport cheered as they observed Duterte enter the building, passing through the regular security check as a common Filipino citizen. In his first cabinet meeting following his inauguration on June 30, Duterte instructed all of his Cabinet members to shun priority treatment at the airports. "We should treat ourselves just like any other Filipino travelling," said the Philippine President. 

In addition, Duterte made it clear that he does not want any government officials, especially Cabinet members, flying Business Class while travelling. Duterte also plans to remove the presidential no-fly zone when he flies in and out of the country's main gateway. In the past, the no-fly zone has caused disruption and delay at the airport to the frustration and inconvenience of passengers.

philippine government aircraft
"The Presidential Jet"
Image Source: Global Aviation Resource
Duterte's special assistant Christopher Go and members of the Presidential Security Group accompanied Duterte on the Philippine Airlines flight. The President was on his way to attend the Hari Raya Festival in Davao.

President Duterte intends to split his work week between Manila and Davao City. Duterte is the nation's sixteenth President. He is known for his simple living in spite of serving as Mayor of Davao for twenty-three years.

References: Philippine Star

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