AirAsia’s new Philippines-based subsidiary took to the skies for the first time today. On Wednesday 28 March 2012, Philippines Air Asia commenced its maiden flights from its home base at Clark International Airport to Kalibo, the gateway to the island of Boracay, and the city of Davao on the southern Philippine island of Mindanao.
The twin launches were witnessed by the Philippines’ Department of Transportation & Communications Secretary Mar Roxas II and other government officials, along with AirAsia’s Group CEO, Tony Fernandes and Philippines AirAsia’s CEO, Maan Hontiveros.
“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 (the Manila ring road) and the long queues of NAIA (Manila’s main airport),” Hontiveros said at the launch ceremony.
“The prospect of Philippines AirAsia starting its flights is truly exciting. The 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,” Fernandes added.
Philippines AirAsia, which has an initial investment of PHP468 million (US$10.8 million), will initially operate a fleet of two brand new Airbus A320s for its daily flights to Davao and twice daily services to Kalibo. This fleet is expected to double to four aircraft within a year.
Eventually the airline expects to serve a range of domestic and international destinations from Clark, including Hong Kong, Macau, Seoul, Singapore, Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur and Kuching.