Air Express is aiming to make air travel the preferred mode of local travelers especially `balikbayans’ or returning overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) eager to see their relatives and friends quickly and comfortably at an affordable price.
SVP for Sales and Marketing Alfredo Herrera said the low-cost airline’s goal this year was to make travelers choose airlines as their number one choice in reaching their respective provinces from Manila or Cebu by bringing down their ticket prices at par with the cost of riding a bus or boat.
Bus fares from Manila-Legazpi range from Php 550-800 with an average travel time of 9 hours while ferry trips from Masbate City to Manila take about 19 hours with a going rate of Php 540 – 1,300 depending on the choice of on board accommodations. For Manila-Bohol travelers, trip last more than a day and rates go from PhP 1,800 – 3,200 via ferry.
Herrera said Airphil Express has already achieved this parity pricing in its Manila-Legazpi and Manila-Bohol routes where ticket prices are cheaper than riding a bus or boat in the same route. ``I think that people will soon think of airlines as their first choice of reaching their destination because we have been able to bring down the price of tickets. People used to sacrifice comfort and travel time because airline tickets were too steep. But with ticket prices going down, people will soon ride on buses and boats only if the airlines are full,’’ said Herrera.
Herrera said he expected the OFWs to make airlines their only choice in their connecting travel itinerary `` since most of them would want to reach their home provinces as quickly and comfortably as possible after coming in from a long-haul flight.’’ Airphil Express has invested in a new fleet, bringing in the modern Airbus A320 series to meet the growing demand from domestic and even international travelers. With the A320’s optimized legroom and elbowroom, passengers have access to stowage spaces, and world-class services from its pilots and cabin crew. Airphil Express also offers added-value travel services such as 15-kilo free baggage allowance, web check-in and seat selector.