Posted on: 14 August 2011 by Mark Howells
AirAsia Philippines’ first Airbus A320, commanded by Captain Johansen Hernandez and carrying 29 guests, including Marianne Hontiveros, chief executive officer of AirAsia Philippines; H.E. Mercedes Tuason, Philippine Ambassador to the Vatican; several Filipino media; as well as an all-Filipino crew, has arrived at its new home of Diosdado Macapagal International Airport in Clark.
“This is a proud moment for AirAsia Philippines as the arrival of the new aircraft signifies our first step in introducing ourselves to the nation,” Hontiveros proclaimed. “As an archipelagic country, air travel is necessary for Filipinos and we are here to serve and help them stay or be better connected with their families and friends.
“The Philippines has great potential in tourism, as our country has so much to offer,” she added. “With AirAsia Philippines, we hope to increase the number of tourist arrivals. This is good for the community in Clark as well as Northern and Central Luzon as they can benefit in various areas including hospitality, retail and entertainment.”
The aircraft is the first of four that will be delivered to AirAsia Philippines in its first year of operation. The second is scheduled to arrive later this year and another two will be delivered in 2012.
Currently, AirAsia Philippines is awaiting official approval to start flying commercially. The airline plans to use the first aircraft to fly to Singapore, Macau and Hong Kong, and the second one to operate routes to Bangkok (Thailand), Incheon (South Korea), Kalibo (near Boracay, Philippines) and Puerto Princesa (Palawan, Philippines).