Wednesday, April 06, 2005

First Air Asia budget flights land in Clark Field

CLARK ZONE, Pampanga: Air Asia launched on Tuesday the first budget flight service between Malaysia and Clark zone.

Air Asia’s Boeing 737-300s landed at the Diosdado Maca­pagal International Airport (DMIA) here from Kuala Lumpur with 123 passengers who paid 99.99 Malaysian ringgit (MR), or roughly P1,449 one-way fare each.

The first group of passengers from Kuala Lumpur were accorded a rousing welcome at the DMIA terminal by Clark Development Corp. officials, headed by executive vice president Victor Jose Luciano, and Air Asia officials, headed by Antonio Fernandez.

Air Asia will continue its twice-daily flights between DMIA and Kota Kinabalu and Kuala Lumpur.

Fernandez had announced that the low-airfare rates of Air Asia will be permanent and “not just a promotional scheme.”

He added that “there is a tremendous potential for growth in the airline industry to be unlocked with the low fares” introduced by Air Asia.

Fernandez said that Air Asia’s role as a premier low-fare, no-frills airline in South East Asia has allowed a great number of people to connect to an extensive network of point-to-point flights in Asia.

Another Air Asia flight from Kota Kinabalu was scheduled to make its debut in Clark on Tuesday afternoon with 102 passengers paying 69.99 MR, or roughly P1,799.

Luciano said that Air Asia is the first low-fare airline to land at DMIA, thus “revolutionizing the air-travel industry to allow a great number of people the ability to fly with low, affordable fares.

Air Asia, according to Fer­nandez, operates with a fleet of 30 Boeing 737-300s in Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Singapore, Macau and now the Philippines.

With the inaugural flights of Air Asia to Clark zone, DMIA has become busy with other flights from other international airlines. Asiana Airlines has been at Clark since 2003, with daily flights between Incheon, South Korea and DMIA, Asian Spirit and SeaAir for local flights.

Luciano said that a shuttle bus service between Edsa Shangri-La Hotel and DMIA will be available on certain schedules

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