AirAsia Group Chief Executive Officer Tony Fernandes has announced a Davao City- Kuala Lumpur direct route, which will start on December 21 this year.
“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.” Fernandes said during his speech at the 2017 Davao Investment Conference held today at SMX Davao.
“We can open up Davao to the world, we can bring 10 international flights here,” Fernandes said to an audience made up mostly of local and foreign businessmen.
The Davao City Chamber of Commerce and Industries Inchas earlier proposed to the AirAsia Group CEO of making Davao City as one of their hubs.
AirAsia is the largest low-cost carrier in Asia by passengers carried. The airline has an extensive network of more than 120 destinations. The airline started its operations in Davao five years ago with its Davao to Clark Pampanga flight.
The airline recently added new domestic destinations connecting Davao with Cebu, Palawan and Caticlan.
“We are confident that by increasing connectivity and accessibility to affordable air travel AirAsia can help play a role in boosting economic growth in the south.” Fernandes said.
He cited the Indonesian City of Bandung where before AirAsia operated there were no international flights in its airport. There are now 23 international flights in Bandung and its airport now handles 10-million passengers transforming a once-sleepy city into a vibrant tourism destination.
“The introduction of the direct flights between Kuala Lumpur and Davao could not be more timely and is a key step in this direction to empower local players across various economic activities.” Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio said of the announcement by Fernandes. (PIA/RG ALAMA)