AirAsia Philippines explores direct flights to Boracay

Budget airline AirAsia Philippines is considering launching direct flights from Kuala Lumpur to Boracay as part of efforts to help decongest Manila’s Ninoy Aquino International Airport, the airline’s CEO revealed at a recent business forum.

Speaking at the Boracay Business Forum, AirAsia Philippines CEO Ricky Isla highlighted the challenges posed by congestion in the Philippine capital and outlined the low-cost carrier’s potential role in boosting tourism to the popular island destination.

“Recognizing the challenges posed by congestion in Manila, AirAsia is exploring the possibility of opening direct flights to Boracay to offer guests a convenient and seamless travel journey to the island,” Isla said.

Boracay, known for its pristine white-sand beaches, is a major tourist draw, attracting visitors from the United States, China, United Kingdom, South Korea, Japan, Germany, and Canada, among other countries, according to Isla.

The AirAsia executive said the airline’s traveler profile to Boracay consists mainly of millennials and young professionals aged 30-39, as well as adults aged 50 and above seeking relaxation.

With a current domestic load factor of 80% and international passengers accounting for the remaining 20%, AirAsia believes direct flights could further boost international arrivals to the island.

The airline currently operates flights to Caticlan and Kalibo from Manila, Clark, and Cebu.

AirAsia also cited its positive average monthly on-time performance of 85% as a factor that could enhance the travel experience for visitors to Boracay.

Beyond attracting tourists, Isla emphasized AirAsia’s commitment to sustainability, noting the airline group has avoided 130,000 tons of carbon emissions since 2016 through eco-efficiency practices.

Isla also mentioned the AirAsia MOVE mobile app, which provides flight schedules, hotel and restaurant information, and activity bookings.

The Boracay Business Forum gathered ASEAN ambassadors and representatives from the public and private sectors to discuss preserving the island’s natural beauty while positioning it as a premier tourist and investment destination.

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