Passengers were treated to a festive Chinese send-off when Airphil Express made its first flight to exciting and progressive Hong Kong from Cebu’s Mactan Terminal recently.
Hong Kong is home to a significant number of OFWs and remains an important neighboring international destination in terms of business and tourism, while Cebu is one the Philippine’s most crucial trade and leisure hubs. Connecting the two centers via Airphil Express represents another advance for the fastest growing budget airline and is seen to help drive growth in the Southern Philippine region.
To give an auspicious and rousing launch and to wish for the success of the new route, a lively and colorful lion dance performance was held at the boarding area. Passengers had a blast when the custom-made Chinese lantern, containing corporate and travel freebies was given a tug by Peter Y. Ong, President and CEO and Brian Hogan, Airphil Express Chief Executive Adviser, as it triggered a shower of prizes to lucky travelers: 2-roundtrip domestic tickets, 4GB USB, mouse pads, and slippers. Around 125 customers were on board the Airbus A320 that serviced the new route.
“We were quite enthusiastic about our first flight to Hong Kong,” shares Alfredo Herrera, Senior Vice-President for Marketing and Sales. “It is one of our kababayans’ favorite Asian places to visit, and with the entry of Airphil Express, it is now a top value destination. With the launch of the maiden flight of Airphil Express from Cebu, we hope our loyal, as well as new passengers, experienced a cultural celebration that gave them a good taste and glimpse of Hong Kong.”
Hong Kong is Airphil Express’ second international destination. The route is part of a substantially funded capacity-expansion program that includes adding another new Airbus A320 to the airline’s current fleet to service a robust Philippine travel market venturing more frequently to destinations in and outside the country.
With the opening of the Hong Kong route from Cebu, Airphil Express is expected to post the highest growth rates among Philippine budget airlines, continuing from its highly successful inaugural year as a rebranded carrier in 2010. Airphil Express is known to offer services and products that are valued by frequent flyers: good airfare deals for its domestic and international routes, and comfort-driven services like Web Check-In, Seat Selector, Travel Insurance, and Pre-Paid Baggage, as well as travel bonuses of as much as 15 kilos free baggage allowance and an additional 7-kilo free hand carry.
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