Even before the New Panglao Airport could start its operations, the country’s largest low-cost airline carrier has shown interest in making it the secondary hub of its regional operations outside Manila.
AirAsia Philippines Chief Executive Officer and airline captain Dexter Comendador, who represented the company in firming up the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) in the partnership for tourism marketing promotions for behold Bohol 2018 said with the expected opening of Panglao Airport, we have another opportunity to bring Bohol to new heights not only as a premier tourism destination in the Philippines but in the whole of the ASEAN.
AirAsia Philippines fleeting may not be as huge, with only 17 aircraft in its domestic and international flights out of its Manila, Cebu, Clark, and Kalibo hubs, it has however been tagged as the largest low-cost carrier in Asia.
In the Asian region, Air Asia Group, where the AirAsia Philippines belongs, services the most extensive network with over 120 destinations, according to a press briefer by AirAsia communications Jenny Bugarin-Tan.
In fact, the flying CEO revealed that when the government announced the closing of Boracay, AirAsia immediately looked at diverting their Kalibo flights to Tagbilaran, but the already congested Tagbilaran Airport did not allow that.
Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines stands to its one plane on the tarmac policy, as a measure to ensure aviation safety.
Before then, Tagbilaran Airport, despite its being unusually crowded and being so close to the city, used to have two or three aircrafts on different processes of pre-take-off preparations, a practice that luckily did not have any hitches.
The captain CEO added they are now into making arrangements so that the tourists intending to get to Boracay can get to Bohol instead, from Cebu.
Arrangements with travel companies are accordingly in place to make the Mactan-Pier in Cebu travel seamless, while Air Asia could no longer add additional flights due to limited vacant time slots.
Captain Comendador also said if they can get the airport to be a hub for their operations in the region, immediately AirAsia could put in three planes complete with a manning crew of 50 aircraft maintenance, ground crew, and flight assistants for each plane and these people need to be based in Bohol for quick aircraft deployment.
Comendador led AirAsia in Bohol for the MOA signing of the third year of partnership in the Behold Bohol 2018 tourism promotions in an agreement that includes brand advertising, promotional activities, and campaigns, familiarization trips for consumer and trade associations, media, travel agencies, trade fairs partnerships and still several other help menus.
At the MOA signing, Bohol Administrator Alfonso Damalerio III represented Governor Edgar Chatto while Bohol Tourism Council Officials led by Chairman Atty. Lucas Nunag, Peter Dejaresco, Executive Director Emmylou Palacio-Noel and Tourism Officer Josephine Cabarrus at the Amorita Resort in Panglao.
First among the agreements is making AirAsia the official carrier of the guests and tourists coming in for the Behold Bohol trips. (rahc/PIA-7/Bohol)