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AirAsia inaugurates General Santos flights

Aviation Updates Philippines – On Wednesday, the Philippine unit of the World's Best Low-cost Airline officially launched the direct air link between Manila and General Santos as it further strengthens domestic air connectivity in the region.

The maiden flight, Z2-661, arrived in General Santos at around 8:50am. Upon arrival, a traditional water canon salute welcomed the aircraft. Senator Manny Pacquiao, General Santos Mayor Ronnel Rivera and South Cotabato 1st District Representative Shirlyn Nograles also welcomed the guests on the ground.

AirAsia Philippines CEO Ricky Isla said, ”We are thrilled  to have finally touched down in General Santos, the “Tuna Capital of the Philippines”. General Santos plays a key role in the economic development of Mindanao as a leading  producer and exporter of quality livestock. The destination provides vast economic opportunities and AirAsia is proud to offer not just affordable air travel, but to also deliver a welcome boost for  tourism in the region.  

“We are honored to hold our  first ever arrival event at  General Santos Airport and would like to thank our partners from the General Santos City government and the civil aviation authorities for their support in making these new services a reality.

The inauguration event was held inside General Santos International Airport's brand-new passenger terminal building. The new terminal is already almost complete and would be ready for operations in the very near future.

Senator Pacquiao also lauded AirAsia's inaugural flight to his hometown: “I would like to congratulate AirAsia on their maiden  flight to General Santos City today. In these very difficult times when our people are trying so hard to return to their normal lives, the  decision to open your flights here in General Santos City is a bold and courageous step amid the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic. I'm deeply thankful to AirAsia for giving us this gift of hope and infinite optimism. I am sure the people of GenSan and Saranggani Province share the same amount of gratitude.”

On the other hand, AirAsia is now preliminarily planning to mount flights between General Santos and Clark by December, according to sources. The budget airline continues to show resiliency amid the COVID-19 pandemic in order to spur air travel in the Philippines. On Tuesday, AirAsia also launched Manila-Zamboanga flights.

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