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Monday, July 24, 2017
AirAsia unflinching as it darts towards Davao
photo: AirAsia facebook
Undaunted by uncertainties in Mindanao,
AirAsia will connect Davao to Kuala Lumpur beginning December 21, with plans to
develop the city into a hub for the BIMP-EAGA initiative that comprises Brunei,
Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines.
The 180-pax, four-times weekly services will
be the second carrier to connect Davao to South-east Asia after Singapore’s
SilkAir service, despite efforts from the Philippines to attract foreign
carriers to Davao.
Speaking to TTG Asia on the sidelines
of the Davao Investment Conference last Friday, AirAsia Group CEO Tony
Fernandes said: “Life is all about taking risks… (it comes down to) how you
market Davao. I really hope the airport supports us (in terms of) incentives
This would not be the first time AirAsia is
opening a route that “nobody dreamt of doing”, Fernandes said, referring to the
airline’s Macau services, the first from South-east Asia, and other pioneering
routes including to Bandung, Langkawi and Clark.
AirAsia Philippines CEO Dexter Comendador
added that the airline is planning flights from Davao to Miri, Kota Kinabalu,
Brunei and other destinations in the BIMP-EAGA corridors.
Comendador said Davao’s airport is willing to
waive airport landing fees and other charges while BIMP-EAGA doesn’t charge
travel taxes, making it feasible for the carrier to serve the region.
This would help alleviate
a key challenge for LCCs, as he said that airport fees constitute one of the
biggest costs for budget airlines, even higher than passenger fares in some