AIRASIA Philippines wants to become a major contributor to the recovery of Cebu’s tourism industry as its Cebu hub reopens at Mactan-Cebu International Airport (MCIA) on Tuesday, August 16, 2022.

After a two-year hiatus due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Ricky Isla, chief executive officer of the Philippine unit of the Malaysian budget airline, led the ceremonial re-opening of the carrier’s Cebu hub, expanding its route network to the Visayas and Mindanao.

Poised for a strong rebound, AirAsia is resuming and adding more flights to Visayas and Mindanao destinations Caticlan (Boracay), Davao, Cagayan de Oro and Puerto Princesa and international destinations Seoul (Incheon) and Kuala Lumpur.

“The reopening of our Cebu hub signifies AirAsia’s commitment to improving connectivity and providing best options among guests not only for flights but also with our partner hotels, tour providers and merchants, all present in our digital, travel and lifestyle platform — airasia Super App,” Isla said.

AirAsia now has 56 weekly flights to various destinations originating from Cebu.

“The increase in flight frequency strategically positions AirAsia as a key driver in boosting economic activities in the various provinces which need a springboard to speed up the recovery phase. Our guests can count on our solid track record in safety, best value for money deals and world’s best service each time they fly,” added Isla.

MCIA is considered the second busiest gateway in the country and the third busiest destination in the AirAsia Philippines route network.

By December 2022, Isla promised AirAsia will add 90-100 more flights per week on both International and domestic routes, originating from Cebu province.

“The original plan was really to open Cebu Hub as early as January. Dahil nagkaroon ng Omicron tapos naghintay kami na maka-recover (But with the Omicron surge, we waited for the recovery),” Isla said.

Isla said a hub is a destination city or province which means that the airline has direct domestic and international flights without connecting to other airports or flight routes.

“Kumpleto po ang aming facilities dito (Cebu). Nandito po ang aming Cebu-based pilots, cabin crew, engineers, kaya Cebu is one of our originating airports,” Isla said.

(Our facilities are complete here. We have Cebu-based pilots, cabin crew, engineers. That is why Cebu is one of our originating airports.)

Cebuanos are urged to take advantage of the airline’s low fares this month with a one-way base fare of P88 for flights booked from August 1 to September 4, 2022 for travels between August 1, 2022 to March 23, 2022.