Philippines’ AirAsia began serving the Filipino people today, launching its maiden flights from Clark to the popular tourism destinations of Kalibo (Boracay) in the Visayas and Davao in Mindanao.
The twin launches took place today at the Clark International Airport and was witnessed by Department of Transportation and Communications Secretary Mar Roxas II and other government officials.
The first Philippines AirAsia flight, PQ7001, left for Kalibo at 7 a.m. Onboard were 143 guests, including 18 children with hearing impairment and Down Syndrome, who flew for the first time accompanied by their parents and teachers for on educational trip to Kalibo.
“Philippines’ AirAsia maiden flights are pioneering routes – our Clark to Davao and Clark to Kalibo flights will make air travel for Northern and Central Luzon passengers more convenient and comfortable. They can even be spared from the traffic of EDSA and the long queues of NAIA,” AirAsia Inc. CEO Maan Hontiveros said at the send-off ceremonies in the Pre-Departure Lounge of Clark International Airport.
Aside from Roxas, among those who attended the twin launches were AirAsia Group CEO Tony Fernandes, AirAsia Deputy Group CEO Kamarudin Meranun, AirAsia X CEO Azran Osman-Rani, President Director of AirAsia Indonesia Dharmadi, AirAsia Inc. Chairman Antonio Cojuangco, AirAsia Inc. Vice Chairman Michael Romero, AirAsia Regional Head of Commercial Kathleen Tan, Clark International Airport Corporation President Victor Jose Luciano, Davao Mayor Sara Duterte, airport officials and representatives from Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines and Civil Aeronautics Board.
Duterte and Luciano joined the other passengers on the first flight to Davao that left Clark at 10:10 a.m. and arrived in Davao at noon.
“The prospect of Philippines AirAsia starting its flights is truly exciting. Philippines is a robust and growing market. We are here because we are confident of its growth. With our pioneering flights and with the options we offer, millions of Southeast Asians will finally be able to easily access the Philippines from various parts of the Asean region,” AirAsia Group CEO Tony Fernandes said.
For her part, Hontiveros said: “Today is a source of national pride for us, Filipinos, as we send off our all-Filipino crew and start our pioneering flights that will improve domestic air connectivity. We picked Davao, because it is an important gateway to Mindanao, and Kalibo, because of Boracay, which is an international popular tourist spot. Today is just the start for AirAsia revolutionizing air travel in Philippines.”
Philippines’ AirAsia Inc., which has an initial investment of P468 million, currently has two brand new Airbus A320s for its daily flights from Clark to Francisco Bangoy International Airport in Davao and its twice daily flights from Clark to Kalibo International Airport. It has ordered two more aircraft to be delivered within the year. It also hopes to tap into the underserved Northern and Central Luzon market and provide Metro Manila passengers a viable low fare flying alternative.
“Beyond servicing the needs of Northern and Central Luzon passengers and pioneering the new routes, we are here to revolutionize domestic and international air travel,” Hontiveros said. “Our brand of air travel will be characterized by transparency, efficiency and high value service.”
AirAsia Inc. is a Filipino Low Cost Carrier (LCC) established to serve the Philippines’ regional and domestic air travel market. For inquiry and to receive real-time updates on latest promotions, interact via facebook.com/AirAsiaPhilippines and twitter.com/AirAsiaPh.
ABOUT AIRASIA INC.
As part of its commitment to develop tourism and transportation outside Metro Manila, AirAsia Inc. set up its hub in Clark, Pampanga in 2011. In the same year, Filipinos welcomed the airline’s brand new Airbus A320s operated by an all-Filipino crew, signifying greater opportunities for travel, leisure and tourism industries in the country.
AirAsia Inc. is registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission in March last year to engage primarily in the business of air transportation in the Philippines and abroad for passenger and cargo.
AirAsia Inc. is a 60-40 joint venture between Filipino investors Antonio O. Cojuangco, Michael L. Romero and Marianne “Maan” B. Hontiveros, and Malaysia’s AirAsia International Ltd., a wholly-owned subsidiary of AirAsia Berhad, which has won SkyTrax’s best low cost airline for three consecutive years. (Skytrax is the world’s largest airline and airport review site.)