AirAsia launches KL-Davao flights
DAVAO, July 21 — AirAsia Bhd today launched four-time weekly direct flights to here from Kuala Lumpur.
AirAsia Group Chief Executive Officer, Tan Sri Tony Fernandes, said the route, which would commence from December 21, 2017, was the start of the next phase of AirAsia’s commitment to Davao.
“We believe Davao has the potential to be the international gateway for Asean to the southern Philippines, beginning with this new route to Kuala Lumpur,” he said at the launch in conjunction with the Davao Investment Conference 2017 here today.
Also present were Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio and AirAsia Philippines Chief Executive Officer Captain Dexter Comendador.
Fernandes said Davao was one of the first cities AirAsia flew to when it started its Philippines operations in 2012.
“In fact, the Clark-Davao route, which we pioneered, was one of the two maiden routes when we started AirAsia Philippines five years ago,” he said.
The route is the fourth direct route from Malaysia to the Philippines after Manila, Cebu and Kalibo, which had flown a total of 577,536 passengers in 2015 and 2016.
AirAsia also connects passengers to other cities in the Philippines including Clark, Manila, Caticlan, Kalibo, Tacloban, Palawan, Cebu and Tagbilaran.
Fernandes said this year alone, AirAsia has launched new flights from Davao-Cebu, Palawan and Boracay and enabled fly-thru via Cebu to international destinations such as Singapore, Taipeh and Seoul.
He said AirAsia strongly supported the development of cities outside Metro Manila and played a role in boosting economic growth in southern Philippines by increasing connectivity and accessibility to affordable air travel.
Fernandes said AirAsia expected a load factor of between 75 and 80 per cent for the new direct route.
“The Philippines market is big for AirAsia and could be the next achievement like the Thai market. It is a good time for AirAsia Philippines and Indonesia to go for initial public offering,” he said.
Fernandes hoped AirAsia Philippines could go public by year-end or the first quarter of next year.
He said it was the right time to expand in the Philippines amid its government’s approachable policy and opening up of the aviation market.
In conjunction with the launch, AirAsia is offering tickets at all-in-fare from RM99 for one way from Kuala Lumpur are available for booking from July 21-30, 2017 for travel period from December 21, 2017 to August 28, 2018.
Davao City, on the southern Philippines island of Mindanao, is a coastal commercial centre near the 2,954-metre Mount Apo, the country’s highest peak.
The vibrant city offers a mixture of natural surroundings from islands to beaches, city attractions, colourful festivals and delectable delights. — Bernama