AIR Asia announced yesterday that it will operate direct flights from Cebu to Taipei starting Nov. 25.
Philippines Air Asia president and CEO Captain Dexter Comendador said that they are “delighted and excited to paint Cebu skies red” with their latest direct flights to Taipei.
The budget carrier will fly to Taipei on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays.
Taipei is the capital of Taiwan. The other big cities of Taiwan are Tainan, Talchung and Kaoshiung.
Kaoshiung is a sister city of Cebu City, which donated several Kaoshiung buses for the multipurpose use of the Cebuanos.
Ma. Elaine V. Ramirez, executive assistant to the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in the Philippines, said that Kaoshiung and the Ivatans of Batanes Province have the same dialect.
The transistor radios of the Ivatans are only airing Kaoshiung dialect because it is far from mainland Philippines but near Taiwan.
“The addition of Cebu-Taipei (direct flights) enables us to further strengthen our hub in Cebu,” Comendador said.
Erwin Balane, head of the route development market group of the Department of Tourism (DOT), believes that this new route sends an important message to the industry that they are willing to work together to pave the way for an enhanced tourism industry.
Balane said Taiwan is considered as one of the most important markets of the Philippines, with visitor arrivals growing by an average of 7.6 percent in the last five years.
“In 2015, about 177,670 Taiwanese visited the Philippines, representing 24.27 percent growth over the previous year,” Balane said.
Besides Taipei, Air Asia announced earlier that it will also increase flights between Cebu and Kuala Lumpur from three to four times weekly effective Oct. 29.
To celebrate the launch of the Taipei flights, Air Asia is offering promotional fares on airasia.com from as low as P888 for Cebu-Taipei with travel period between Nov. 25, 2016 and March 25, 2017.
The promotional fares are offered until Nov. 23.