AirAsia PHL reopens Kaohsiung route; EVA Air to launch Taipei-Clark flights

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LOW-COST carrier AirAsia Philippines announced on Monday that it recently resumed its service to Kaohsiung, Taiwan just in time for the Lunar New Year festivities.

The inaugural flight departed from the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 3 on Jan. 7, it said in a statement.

“Before the pandemic, this route and Manila-Taipei had immensely contributed to our growth with its consistently high traffic demand, especially among leisure travelers and overseas Filipino workers who are always searching for the best value deals,” AirAsia Philippines Chief Executive Officer Ricardo P. Isla said.

“We look forward to reopening more international routes and air travel in the Eastern Region of Asia,” he added.

Kaohsiung, a city located in southern Taiwan, is known for its river parks, cultural activities, and culinary scene.

“The Manila-Kaohsiung flight departs via the NAIA Terminal 3 every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday, 4:45 p.m. and arrives in Kaohsiung 6:45 p.m. Its return flight leaves Kaohsiung International Airport at 8:15 p.m. and arrives at NAIA T3, 10:00 p.m.,” AirAsia Philippines said.

Meanwhile, international airline EVA Air announced separately that it will operate daily nonstop flights between Taipei and the northwestern Philippines starting March 30.

“The addition of Clark International Airport will give EVA three gateways in the Philippines and boost the convenience and flexibility passengers enjoy now with Manila and Cebu service,” the airline said in an e-mailed statement.

“By the end of March, the airline will be operating 35 flights a week to the Philippines, offering travelers from throughout Asia, Europe, Australia and North America more arrival and departure options,” it added.

The Department of Tourism (DoT) said recently that the Philippines logged 2.65 million international arrivals in 2022, beating the 1.7 million target and raising hopes for the arrivals goal to be met in 2023.

The DoT said that of the 2.65 million international arrivals in 2022, 2.02 million were foreigners while 628,445 were returning Filipinos.

Of the foreigner arrivals, the US accounted for 505,089, South Korea 428,014, Australia 137,974, Canada 121,413, the UK 101,034, Japan 99,557, Singapore 53,448, India 51,542, Malaysia 46,805, and China 39,627.

The data cover arrivals between February and December. The Philippines reopened its borders with easier quarantine requirements on Feb. 10.

For 2023, the DoT target is 4.8 million international visitors. — Arjay L. Balinbin