Philippines AirAsia adds Philippines-Indonesia flights

The new year begins with some new flights between the Philippines and Indonesia courtesy of Philippines AirAsia.

On January 9, the Philippine-based arm of the AirAsia group had its maiden flight between Manila's Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) and Jakarta's Soekarno–Hatta International Airport.  In command of the inaugural flight was company CEO, Captain Dexter Commendador.  It was fully booked with 137 passengers onboard.  

Copyright Photo: Angelo Agcamaran/PPSG

The Manila-Jakarta flight, Z2235, departs NAIA's Terminal 3 daily at 8.00 am and is scheduled to arrive in Jakarta at 11.00 am time.  The return leg, Z2236, departs Jakarta at 11.30 am and returns to Manila at 4.45 pm.

Company chairman Marianne Hontiveros said that it took six years to establish this route in the carrier's network.  Previously, passengers who wanted to use AirAsia to travel between Indonesia and the Philippines needed to stopover at Kuala Lumpur or Singapore.  

In addition to the new Manila-Jakarta service, Philippines AirAsia will launch a new Manila-Bali service on January 19.  Hontiveros added that while the Manila-Jakarta route focuses on business passengers, the Manila-Bali route will be a tourism-focused one.  

The Indonesian government meanwhile welcomes the opening of the new flight.  Indonesian Tourism Ministry's special adviser for tourism infrastructure Judi Rifajantoro expects growth in trade, tourism, and investment between the two countries as a result of these developments.  

With the expansion into Indonesia, Philippines AirAsia now serves nine Asian countries from the Philippines.  The new service also breaks the duopoly that Philippine Airlines and Cebu Pacific have enjoyed in the Philippine-Indonesia market for some time.  

These new flights are the just the latest in a wave of expansions by the AirAsia group involving the Philippines.  On December 21 2017, the group opened a Davao-Kuala Lumpur flight.

Source: ABS-CBN News, Jakarta Globe, SunStar Davao

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