DAVAO CITY — The launch of the Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia–Davao City air connection ha further boost this city’s tourism industry and open more opportunities for interconnection within Asia.
“We do not only connect Davao to Malaysia, but we also bring Davao closer to our extensive network of destinations in Asean, Northeast Asia, South Asia, Australasia, the Middle East and the US,” Aireen Omar, AirAsia Deputy Group CEO – Digital, Transformation, Corporate Services, said.
Omar, who led Air Asia team on Thursday night’s celebration of Air Asia’s launch of the KL-Davao flight in December last year, said the KL-Davao route is the third direct route from Malaysia to the Philippines after Manila and Cebu.
AirAsia also connects guests to other cities in the Philippines including Clark, Manila, Caticlan, Kalibo, Tacloban, Palawan, Cebu and Tagbilaran.
She said there is an average 80 percent load factor since its launching. Air Asia now flies four times weekly.
“Davao is a strategic gateway. Air Asia can connect Davao City to other (Asian) cities. We have our Asian network,” Omar said in an interview on the sidelines of the event at the Marco Polo Hotel.
In her speech, Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio thanked Air Asia for believing in the capacity, potential and the promise of the city.
“We will do our best and we will not disappoint you,” Duterte-Carpio said.
Duterte-Carpio said the route would open up a window of various opportunities for many sectors.
She vowed that the city will do everything to make the Davao tourism experience as enjoyable covering all fronts from tourist sites, accommodations, dining options, peace and order, traffic and transportation and all aspects fundamental to a travelling experience.
The mayor announced that the city breached the two million tourist arrivals and hoped to achieve better numbers this year.
“Rest assured we in the city government will do everything to make the Davao tourism experience as enjoyable,” she said.
Omar said Air Asia is also committed to growing tourism beyond the most famous tourism hotspots.
Department of Tourism (DoT)-XI director Antonio Fernando Blanco, who has just assumed the Davao regional office, said the KL-Davao direct connection will not only boost Davao tourism industry but other neighboring cities.
He said this would even increase trade such as exporting tuna to Malaysia.
“Pwede naman kasi yung Gensan (tuna exporters) pupunta dito (This can be done because gensan (tuna exporters) come here)” he said in an interview.
Blanco said the KL-Davao City route will open up other market.
“Davao City is a natural magnet considering that this one of the ten most livable cities,” Blanco stressed.
Air Asia also announced it has opened the celebratory all-in-fares from PHP1599 (promotional all-in-fares for one-way travel only inclusive of taxes) one-way are available for booking online at airasiadotcom.
The promotional fare is open for booking from February 1 through February 18, 2018 for the travel period between now until 31 July 2018. The promotional fares are also available on AirAsia’s mobile app on iPhone and Android devices.