Events Feature Travel

AirAsia launches daily Cebu-Shanghai flights; Cebu told to be ready for influx of Chinese tourists

Cebu is the “perfect destination” for Chinese tourists because they are into diving and love the water and islands, said AirAsia China, North Asia President Kathleen Tan.

AirAsia launched today its daily Cebu-Shanghai flights at the new Terminal 2 of Mactan Cebu International Airport (MCIA).

“Cebu has so much to offer. You have a rich culture and amazing, beautiful islands,” said Tan during the inaugural ceremonies. “The Chinese love to eat. Food is very important to them, and shopping.”

“Cebu,” Tan told those gathered at the event, “your city will never be the same again with China coming in.”

AirAsia Cebu-Shanghai
DAILY FLIGHTS TO SHANGHAI. AirAsia launches its daily flights to Shanghai with an inaugural at the newly-opened Terminal 2 of Mactan Cebu International Airport. Present during the event are (center stage, from left) AirAsia Philippines Chairperson Maan Hontiveros, Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry President Antonio Chiu, Cebu Vice Governor Agnes Magpale, AirAsia China and North Asia President Kathleen Tan, Chinese Embassy Deputy Consul Wu Xiaomin, and AirAsia Philippines CEO Dexter Comendador.


Long-term growth

AirAsia Philippines CEO Capt. Dexter Comendador said the new terminal provides the airline “great capacity for long-term growth and expansion in Cebu as AirAsia’s hub.”

He said AirAsia now has 3 planes based in Cebu, which is the most outside Manila, ground equipment to support it, and about 200 employees.

“It’s a huge investment for us but we’re very happy that we did the right thing in connecting with China. It’s the largest market.” Comendador said.


AirAsia Shanghai-Cebu
MUCH TO OFFER. Cebu has much to offer to tourists based in China, said AirAsia China, North Asia President Kathleen Tan.


Market doing very well

He said they initially only wanted to divert passengers from Boracay, with the closure of the island in April, but “we found out that the market is working very well.”

“It’s a good problem for me,” Comendador said, “because when Boracay opens, I will need to find other planes to fly that route because I cannot, I will not, pull out the routes that we have established as alternate to Boracay.”

Tan described the development as “very exciting” because the airline has been able to connect “Cebu to a very important market. China is now ranked as one of the biggest outbound travel market in the world.”

Encouraging response

She described the initial response as very encouraging, with the inaugural flight from Shanghai to Cebu set to arrive past midnight at 99% of load capacity with 179 passengers.

Tan said forward sales also show good booking rates. She said they are aiming to have at least 80% load factor for the routes.

She said the Chinese “now have a big appetite for travel.” It is a “lifestyle commodity” especially for travelers from Shanghai.

She also said that she learned from Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry President Antonio Chiu that after they opened their routes to China, there have been Chinese business people who expressed interest in investing in Cebu.

AirAsia Cebu-Shanghai
CEBU IS READY. Cebu Vice Governor Agnes Magpale said Cebu is ready for the influx of tourists from China with the new flights by AirAsia.


Young, independent travelers

Tan said many of their customers are those born in the 1980s and 1990s and they see more independent and young Chinese travelers. To engage them, she encouraged those in the industry to go digital, mobile, and social.

Cebu Vice Governor Agnes Magpale welcomed the new routes as opportunities for Cebu to get more exposure to the Chinese market.

Magpale said that with the opening of Terminal 2, Cebu can accommodate more international flights.

AirAsia Shanghai-Cebu
EXPANSION. AirAsia Philippines CEO Capt. Dexter Comendador said the new Terminal 2 of MCIA provides the airline “great capacity for long-term growth and expansion in Cebu as AirAsia’s hub.”


Cebu is ready

“Cebu is really, really ready for more Chinese tourists,” she said during the event.

“With these added flights, we know that we will hit our 10 million mark for Cebu. We’ve asked the hotels, the resorts and they are really ready. The Provincial Government as well as the City Government are right behind the business community to make Cebu ready,” she added.

Chinese Embassy Deputy Consul Wu Xiaomin said that last year, the number of tourists from China to the Philippines increased 75%, the fastest growing among foreign markets.

“Tourism brings economic benefits both to the host country and the tourists’ home country,” he said. “I believe that improved relations between the Philippines and China is a key factor in the improved tourism market.”


AirAsia Cebu-Shanghai flights
The cake to mark the new flights.


Facebook Livestream of event



AirAsia opens 3 Cebu-China routes; starts Clark flights from Cebu

To meet the demand of a fast growing Chinese travel market, Philippines AirAsia will start new routes to Shenzhen, Hangzhou, and Shanghai in China from Cebu in May and July.

The Cebu-Shenzhen daily flights will start on May 9, 2018 with promo fares from as low as P888 for bookings until April 22, 2018 and for travel from May 9, 2018 to October 27, 2018.

“Cebuano travelers will be delighted to experience Shenzhen’s modern metropolis and marvel at how the southern city that links Hong Kong to mainland China built the world’s largest electric bus fleet, massive malls, contemporary buildings, and amusement parks,” said Philippines AirAsia Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Dexter Comendador.

AirAsia’s first China route from Cebu will further strengthen the company’s network outside Metro Manila and open up new and exciting places to visit this summer, he added.

AirAsia new routes
NEW AIRASIA ROUTES. (From left) Allenie Caccam, AirAsia Senior Marketing Manager for International Routes; AirAsia CEO Dexter Comendador; Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry president Antonio Chiu; and Domestic Marketing Manager Cathy Cabahug.

“AirAsia feels strongly about developing tourism and trade outside of Metro Manila,” Comendador also said. In Cebu, he was grateful for the support of the Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI).

New domestic, international routes

One more route, Cebu-Hangzhou, will be opened in May and a third, Cebu-Shanghai, will start in July. Comendador said they’re still getting the necessary permits and will announce the inaugural dates for these flights soon.

Allenie Caccam, AirAsia Senior Marketing Manager for International Routes, said the new Cebu-China routes would invite more Chinese tourists and businessmen to visit Cebu and experience how wonderful it is as a destination. At the same time, more tourists in the Visayas and Mindanao would get connected to AirAsia’s international routes.

AirAsia new routes
NEW CEBU-CHINA ROUTES. Philippines AirAsia will start new routes to Shenzhen, Hangzhou, and Shanghai in China from Cebu in May and July.

Philippines AirAsia will also start Cebu-Clark flights on May 11, 2018. Seats for this route are being offered from as low as P17 only for bookings up to April 22, 2018 and travel between May 11, 2018 to October 26, 2018.

“AirAsia is here to support the government’s flagship projects to boost tourism and trade. We aim to better connect Clark to secondary cities within the Philippines like Cebu, Iloilo, Davao, Tacloban followed by inter-Asean connectivity where the AirAsia Group has massive network covering over 120 destinations in the whole of ASEAN, in greater Asia, Australia, United States, and beyond,” Comendador added.


Promo fares for as low as P17 in AirAsia’s Red Hot Seat Sale

AirAsia is giving away seats from as low as P17 in its first major promotional seat sale of the year.

“We like to start the year with a bang and what better way to welcome summer than with new additional flights to Philippines’ best island destinations of Boracay and Palawan, and other equally stunning destinations across the country and abroad now up for grabs at promo fares,” said Philippines AirAsia CEO Captain Dexter Comendador.

AirAsia has announced its return to Clark with flights to Davao and Kalibo and expanded its Cebu hub to include flights to Davao, Boracay, and Palawan. From Davao, AirAsia will also fly to Boracay, Palawan, Clark, and Cebu starting April 22.

AirAsia destinations

The AirAsia Group which is the leading and largest low-cost carrier by passengers carried in Asia is also offering up to 3 million promotional seats to more than 120 destinations in Asia, Australia and New Zealand and the Middle East.

AirAsia’s seat sale from as low as P17.00 all-in promo fares are available for booking until March 19 for travel period from March 27 to June 1 for Clark-Kalibo; April 22 to June 5 for Cebu to Boracay and Davao; September 1 to June 1 for Manila to Cebu and Kalibo. This is one-way base fare excluding taxes and fees.

Promotional seats for international destinations are also available for booking via with travel period from September 1 to June 5, 2018.


AirAsia was named World’s Best Low-Cost Airline for the eighth year in a row and AirAsia X, the long haul affiliate of the group, won the World’s Best Low-Cost Premium Cabin and Premium Seat for the fourth straight year at 2016 Skytrax World Airline Awards.

AirAsia was also awarded World’s Leading Low-Cost Airline for the fourth consecutive year at the 2016 World Travel Awards, where it also beat a field of full-service carriers to become the first ever low-cost carrier to win World’s Leading Inflight Service.

For latest updates on promotions and activities, please follow AirAsia on Twitter ( and Facebook ( (Press Release)


AirAsia expands Cebu network, offers promo fares to Boracay, Palawan, Davao

To help boost the country’s destinations in the Visayas and Mindanao, AirAsia will start Cebu and Davao flights to Palawan and Boracay through Caticlan on April 22, 2017 with one-way, all-in promo fares from as low as P398.

The seat sale will be good for travel from April 22 to August 31, 2017 and also cover the reinstated Cebu-Davao-Cebu route as well as Davao-Clark flights.

Captain Dexter Comendador, Philippines AirAsia chief executive officer, said the promotional seats are now available for booking at and will run for one whole week starting Monday.

AirAsia new routes launch Cebu
NEW ROUTES, SUMMER PROMO. Captain Dexter Comendador, Philippines AirAsia chief executive officer, leads the launching of new routes from Cebu. With him are Department of Tourism Central Visayas Director Catalino Chan III (left) and GMCAC Head of Airline Marketing Aines Librodo.

Starting April 22, AirAsia will have daily flights from Cebu to Boracay and Palawan and twice daily flights to Davao. From Davao, AirAsia will also fly thrice weekly to Boracay and Palawan and four times weekly to Clark.

AirAsia campaign

AirAsia also presented its latest destination campaign titled #ChasingWonders during the launching ceremonies held Monday, March 6, at Circa 1900 Casa Dos in Cebu City. It is intended to encourage travelers to visit and discover the many attractions of the Philippines.

Comendador said the Cebu and Davao routes, increased flight frequency to Kuala Lumpur from Cebu, as well as the Cebu-Taipei and Cebu-Singapore flights launched last year are in line with the vision of AirAsia CEO Tony Fernandes to develop destinations outside of Manila and bring in tourists to the Philippines.

AirAsia promo fare
ALL-IN PROMO FARE. AirAsia will start Cebu and Davao flights to Palawan and Boracay through Caticlan on April 22, 2017 with one-way, all-in promo fares from as low as P398.

Since 2001 when Philippines AirAsia was established, it has been the company’s dream to make air travel more affordable and accessible for Filipinos.

“With our newest routes, AirAsia would like to provide much-needed connections and tap into underserved markets, grow it, as there is definitely great tourism and business potentials in Visayas and Mindanao. We are thrilled to paint Cebu skied red,” he added.


AirAsia’s e-boarding pass now available in all domestic flights

Enjoy the comfort of checking-in and boarding flights using your smartphones with AirAsia’s e-boarding pass now available in all domestic flights in the Philippines.

AirAsia’s “E-Boarding Pass” is a paperless boarding pass that allows guests without check-in-baggage to proceed straight to the boarding gate without having to queue at the check-in counter or desk at the airport.

Guests with check-in-baggage, however, are required to proceed to bag drop counter first before going to the boarding gate.

Investing in technology

Philippines AirAsia CEO Captain Dexter Comendador said, “We are constantly investing in technology to make flying easier, more enjoyable, and comfortable for our guests. With the expected surge of travelers this summer, e-boarding pass will significantly reduce time spent queueing at airport counters.”

To enjoy this convenience, guests have to download the AirAsia Mobile App in their smartphones and use this application to check-in and receive their e-boarding pass in their mobile phones. Upon boarding, guests will use their mobile phones to show their e-boarding pass instead of the traditional paper tickets.

Scan e-boarding pass

At the boarding gate, AirAsia’s guest service personnel will verify guests’ identity and scan their e-boarding pass. Guests may then proceed to the aircraft. Guests are required to present their e-boarding pass to the cabin crew before boarding the aircraft.

E-Boarding pass is available on all AirAsia domestic flights departing from airports in Manila’s NAIA Terminal 4, Cebu, Kalibo, Davao, Tacloban, Puerto Princesa and Tagbilaran in the Philippines. It is limited to one guest in one booking only and is currently unavailable for international flights and Fly-Thru bookings or those with multiple flights.

AirAsia offers several flights to and from Manila, Cebu, Davao, Tagbilaran/Bohol, Boracay (via Caticlan and Kalibo), and Tacloban. Flights from Cebu to Palawan, Boracay/Caticlan, Davao and Davao to Clark, Cebu, Boracay/Caticlan, and Palawan will commence on April 22.

Find out more about AirAsia’s new products and exciting promotional fares at Facebook ( and Twitter( (Press Release)


Philippines AirAsia opens flights to Boracay, Palawan from Cebu and Davao

AirAsia is flying to 7 brand new destinations across the Philippines this summer, opening Cebu and Davao flights to Boracay through Caticlan and Palawan starting on April 22, 2017.

Starting on the same date, Philippines AirAsia will also reinstate its Cebu-Davao-Cebu flights and start flying from Davao to Clark.

“It’s an exciting time to spend summer vacations in the Philippines with AirAsia’s awesome connectivity travelers now have easy access to the country’s amazing beaches, gorgeous natural wonders, and majestic eco-tourism attractions via Cebu, Clark, and Davao,” said Captain Dexter Comendador, Philippines AirAsia chief executive officer.

AirAsia Cebu, Davao, Boracay, Palawan

Cebu, Boracay, Palawan, Davao

AirAsia will fly from Cebu to Boracay and Palawan daily while flights to Davao are scheduled twice daily. From Davao, AirAsia is also offering daily flights to Boracay, thrice weekly flights to Palawan, and four flights weekly to Clark.

“We feel strongly about supporting the growth and development of cities outside Metro Manila by providing more options and added convenience for travelers to fly to their desired destinations without going to the main airport in Manila,” Comendador added.

Keep up-to-date with AirAsia’s latest promotion and activities via Twitter (@AirAsiaPH), Facebook (, Instagram (@AirAsiaPh), and on Viber public chat (@AirAsiaPh).


Captain Comendador officially appointed Philippines AirAsia’s president and CEO

Philippines AirAsia has officially appointed Captain Dexter Comendador as president and chief executive officer effective January 10, 2017, the company said in a press statement.

Comendador has over 33 years of experience in the aviation industry. He served as combat pilot, flight commander and pilot instructor in the Philippine Air Force for eight years before beginning his professional career as a commercial pilot in 1992.


A trailblazer and highly-decorated pilot, Captain Comendador is a cum laude graduate of the prestigious Philippine Military Academy and is a recipient of 26 service medals, including two Gold Crosses for bravery and successful combat operations.

In 1994, while serving as flight systems engineering crew of a commercial airline, Captain Comendador successfully managed an inflight bomb explosion that earned him a commendation from then-President Fidel Ramos and international media attention, inspiring stories of bravery, courage and professionalism.

Captain Comendador opted for early retirement in 2010 while serving as chief pilot for safety and compliance at a local budget airline. Airlines and airplanes, however, are truly his first love and, after a short break, he took a job overseas with a foreign airline before eventually winding up at AirAsia in December 2011.

Philippines AirAsia Dexter Comendador and Tony Fernandes
Philippines AirAsia CEO Captain Dexter Comendador (left) and AirAsia Group CEO Tony Fernandes at the AirAsia office in Pasay City.

Homegrown talent

He was then asked to join the newly-launched AirAsia operations in the Philippines as Chief Pilot for Operations and was promoted two years later to Director of Flight Operations and Chief Operating Officer. He accepted the challenge to lead the Philippine team of AirAsia as interim Chief Executive Officer in July 2016.

Philippines AirAsia Chairperson Maan Hontiveros said, “The appointment of Captain Dex as our CEO will earn him another title apart from his numerous medals and accolades. He is now the first flying pilot-CEO of an airline company in the Philippines.”

AirAsia Group CEO Tony Fernandes said, “Captain Dex brings with him a wealth of aviation experience and business knowledge. He is a Filipino hero pilot, a homegrown talent with the extraordinary ability to connect and inspire people and ideas capable of driving change and innovation in the Philippines.” (Press Release)

Feature Travel

Taiwan cultural office lists top 5 reasons to visit in launch of Cebu-Taipei AirAsia route

With all that it can offer tourists, from food to culture to scenic spots, Taiwan is an ideal travel destination for Filipinos.

Ma. Elaine V. Ramirez, executive assistant of the Press Division Director at the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office (TECO) in the Philippines, said during the recent launch of the AirAsia Cebu-Taipei route that it brings the two countries even closer together and adds one more good reason to go to Taiwan. Philippines AirAsia will start operating thrice weekly flights to Taipei from Cebu on November 25, 2016

“We would like to foster stronger ties with our southern neighboring countries, of which the Philippines is the closest,” she added.

The northern tip of the Philippines and the southernmost part of Taiwan are only 250 kilometers apart, she pointed out, adding that the Ivatans of Batanes and an indigenous group in Kaohsiung, Taiwan even share the same language.

According to her, aside from top ratings in safety, security, and civil liberties, the well-being of Taiwan citizens is comparatively high when measured against the indicators used by the OECD Better Life Index.

AirAsia Cebu-Taipei
AIRASIA CEBU-TAIPEI ROUTE. Philippines AirAsia chief executive officer Dexter Comendador (3rd from right) leads the launch of the Cebu-Taipei route that will start operating thrice weekly on November 25. With him are Taiwan Economic Cultural Office director for press division Jerry Cheng-An Chuang (4th from left), Department of Tourism head for route development Erwin Balane, and Captain Gisela Bendong-Boniel (4th from right), who is also the mayor of Bien Unido town in Bohol.

Taiwan attractions

If this still does not convince you, here are additional reasons to book that flight to Taipei:

Diverse local food culture

Taiwan’s favorable climate and geographic location result in a bounty of fresh produce and seafood all year round. The people of Taiwan know their food, and have formed a dining culture that is uniquely Taiwanese through the merging of eastern and western elements in their dishes.

To truly experience Taiwanese life, visit the night market and try these local delicacies: stinky tofu, pig blood cake, oyster omelets, stewed pork rice, spicy duck blood, squid thick soup, and pepper buns. Other scrumptious fare include the Taiwanese stewed beef noodle soup and the world famous xialongbao (steamed soup dumpling).

Taiwan is also known as a tea paradise so don’t forget to indulge in such popular flavors as Wenshan Pouchong, Tung-ting Oolong, Tieguanyin, Hakka ground tea, and pearl milk tea.

CNN, Ramirez said, named Taiwan as world’s best food destination in 2015.

Shopping paradise

Taiwan is a haven for shopaholics, with its latest international fashion and luxury brands, boutique goods, premium quality local artisanal products, large-scale commercial districts, and internationally renowned night markets.

A growing creative and cultural industry in Taiwan has given rise to unique products crafted by dynamic local artists. Enjoy a wide range of local crafts at Taipei’s Dihua Street, Ximen’s Red House, Huashan 1914 Creative Park and Songshan Cultural and Creative Park as well as Kaohsiung’s Pier-2 Art Center.

Great bargains may be grabbed at Taipei’s Ximending, Wufenpu or the commercial district behind Taipei Main Station, Taichung’s Yizhong Street and Fengjia Night Market, and Kaohsiung’s Sanduo Commercial District and Dream Mall.

AirAsia Cebu-Taipei
FLY TO TAIPEI. AirAsia will fly 3 times a week to Taipei from Cebu starting on November 25.

Abundance of scenic spots

Taiwan’s high mountains and complex geological formations make for a diverse scenery that is sure to excite any nature lover. Its well-known peak Yushan or Mt. Jade rises 3,952 meters and is considered to be the the tallest mountain in Northeast Asia.

The Taiwanese are also blessed with spectacular landforms that range from sandy beaches, lagoons, and sandbars in the southwest coast; rocky shores, deep slopes, and narrow plains in the east coast; rocky headlands in the north coast; and coral reefs in the south coast. Its rich wildlife resources makes it a natural paradise for butterfly and bird watchers.

Don’t forget to check out any or all of Taiwan’s eight national parks, each with their own distinct characteristic: among them the griotte formations and gorges at Takoro National Park, volcanic landforms in Taipei’s Yanming-Shan National Park, endemic fish species at Shei-pa National Park, ridges and peaks in Yushan National Park.

Taiwan’s natural scenery makes the bicycle the best way to explore Taiwan, said TECO director for press division Jerry Chang-An Chuang,

Modern transportation system

Nevertheless, added Ramirez, Taiwan has a modern and efficient public transportation system, allowing travelers to easily move across its many beautiful destinations.

Its two biggest cities, Taipei and Kaohsiung, have mass rapid transport systems. The high speed rail is complemented by local trains, buses, and taxis.

Rich culture and history

Taiwan boasts of a diverse mix of culture from a long list of inhabitants that has contributed to its unique local flavor.

Its 5,000 years of Chinese civilization can be relived through the National Palace Museum in Taipei, which hosts a staggering 650,000 artifacts from this chapter in its history.

Major cities are filled with ancient forts, temples, and preserved old streets and structures. Heritage structures worth a visit include the formerly prosperous commercial districts of Taipei’s Dihua Street and Wanhua District as well as Taichung’s Lukang and Tainan’s Anping. The Longshan Temple goes back 270 years while Lukang features well preserved old streets and buildings.

There are folk festivals and activities all throughout the year in Taiwan. Major events include the releasing of sky lanterns over Pingxi in New Taipei City and fireworks display in the Yanshui Beehive Rocket Festival in Tainan.

AirAsia Cebu-Taipei
MORE ROUTES OUT OF CEBU. Philippines AirAsia chief executive officer Dexter Comendador (center) says AirAsia will open more routes out of Cebu in the coming months. With him during the press conference are Taiwan Economic Cultural Office director for press division Jerry Cheng-An Chuang (left) and Department of Tourism head for route development Erwin Balane.

Major AirAsia hub

Aside from the Taipei flights that are scheduled to start in November, AirAsia plans to open more international routes out of Cebu in line with its plan to turn the island into a major hub of operations, said Philippines AirAsia chief executive officer Dexter Comendador.

The airline company’s vision to bring the millions of tourists going around Asia to the Philippines, he added.

AirAsia also recently announced the opening of flights to Singapore out of Cebu.

“AirAsia feels strongly about the development of cities outside of Metro Manila. It is pushing for tourism growth and promoting the Philippines across the ASEAN region,” he added.

To celebrate the new routes, AirAsia offered promo fares starting at P888 at for flights to Taipei and Singapore out of Cebu.

Lifestyle Travel

AirAsia opens direct Cebu-Singapore flights, offers P888 introductory fare

AirAsia announced it will operate direct flights from Cebu to Singapore starting November 25. To celebrate the launch of the route, AirAsia is offering promotional fares on from as low as P888 for travel between November 25, 2016 and March 24, 2017. Promotional fares are up for grabs from today until October 23 only.

Philippines AirAsia CEO Captain Dexter Comendador said, “The addition of the Cebu-Singapore route enables us to strengthen our Cebu hub and further connect Cebuanos to our Asean neighbors.”

Flight Schedule for Cebu – Singapore

Z2 7236
Cebu to Singapore / departs Cebu at 4:55 PM and arrives in Singapore at 8:30 PM / Every Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday

Z2 7237
Singapore to Cebu / departs Singapore at 9:10 PM and arrives in Cebu at 12:55 AM / Every Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday


Singapore Tourism Board area director for Philippines Lael Loh said, “The Singapore Tourism Board (STB) congratulates AirAsia on its newest destination milestone in the Philippines. We are excited by the opening of the new Cebu-Singapore route, which will provide more opportunities for Filipino travelers to discover, experience, and enjoy the multitude of offerings in the Lion City.”

AirAsia’s newest Cebu-Singapore announcement came two days after its executives led by its CEO Dexter Comendador with Department of Tourism head for route development Erwin Balane and Taiwan Economic Cultural Office director for press division Jerry Cheng-An Chuang arrived in Cebu last Wednesday to formally open the Cebu-Taipei route.

Comendador added, “Cebu is emerging as the fastest growing air hub outside Metro Manila and we are here to connect Cebu to Singapore, Taipei, Korea, Malaysia and onto to AirAsia Group’s massive network of over 120 destinations across Asia, Australia and New Zealand, the Middle East and Africa while providing only the best quality service and products.”

Besides Singapore and Taipei, AirAsia announced earlier that it will also increase flights between Cebu and Kuala Lumpur from three to four times weekly effective 29 October. AirAsia also services direct flights from Cebu to Incheon (Seoul) in South Korea.

Keep up-to-date with AirAsia’s latest promotion and activities via Twitter (@AirAsiaPH), Facebook (, Instagram (@AirAsiaPh), and on Viber public chat (@AirAsiaPh). (Press Release)

Lifestyle Travel

AirAsia starts Manila, Cebu flights to Taipei, offers promo fares from P888

AirAsia announced today, Sunday, that it will open direct flights to Taipei from Manila and Cebu starting next month.

To celebrate the opening of the new routes, the airline offers on promo fares for as low as P888 out of Cebu and P1,488 out of Manila to Taipei for tickets bought until October 16, 2016.

The three times weekly Cebu-Taipei service will start on November 25 while the daily Manila-Taipei service will begin on November 21 this year. Travel period for the Taipei seat sale is from November 25, 2016 for Cebu and November 21, 2016 for Manila up to March 25, 2017.

“In anticipation of the influx of tourists and travellers to Taipei following the recent easing of visa rules for Filipinos, we are thrilled to announce that AirAsia is launching direct flights to Taipei from our hubs in Manila and Cebu this November with promo fares now available online and through our partner travel agents nationwide,” Philippines AirAsia chief executive officer Dexter Comendador said in a statement.

Taiwan Night Market
NIGHT MARKETS. Taipei has many night markets that have food kiosks, movie theaters, video arcades, shops, and karaoke stores. (Creative Commons photo by Tomas Fano)

Taiwan travel visa

Taiwan has made it easier for Filipinos, along with citizens of Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Myanmar, Vietnam, and India, to get a visa.

The Taiwan Economic Cultural Office (TECO) released a statement saying passport holders from the Philippines and several other countries are now eligible to apply online for a Taiwan travel authorization certificate free of charge.

The new policy applies as well to passport holders from Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam and those who are permanent residents of Australia, Canada, Japan, South Korea, New Zealand, Schengen Agreement signatories, United Kingdom, and United States or hold a visa or a resident card from one of these countries that is either valid or expired within 10 years from the date of expected arrival in Taiwan.

More Kuala Lumpur flights

Earlier, AirAsia announced that it will add one daily flight between Manila and Kuala Lumpur starting October 30 on top of its current twice daily flights and increase flight frequency between Cebu and Kuala Lumpur from three to four times weekly effective October 29.

“Cebu is an important hub for AirAsia and we are here to offer a reliable, award-winning, world-class service at low fares that every Cebuano deserves,”
Comendador added.

AirAsia will depart daily from Manila every 11:05 p.m and arrive in Taipei at 1:10 a.m. Return flight schedule is daily at 1:35-3:45 a.m.

The Cebu to Taipei flights is every Wednesday, from 6:35 to 9:25 a.m., and from 6:10 to 9:05 a.m. every Friday and Sunday. Return flights is 10:20 a.m.-1:10 p.m. every Wednesday, 10:10 a.m.-1:00 p.m. every Friday, and 10:30 a.m.-1:20 p.m. every Sunday.

Taipei attractions

New and returning visitors to Taipei can expect to experience warm local hospitality and enjoy some or all of its iconic attractions.

Here are the top destinations in or near Taipei:

Taipei 101. This is the icon of Taipei and the city’s most prominent centre. This ultra-modern structure has 101 floors of shopping heaven, conference venues, offices, restaurants, as well as outdoor and indoor observatories. The top of the tower offers a stunning and unobstructed view of Taipei.

Night markets. There is a plethora of night markets in Taipei but the most famous is the Shilin Night Market. Food lovers can scour the 539 food kiosks in the food court offering a wide selection of cuisine. Other attractions include movie theatres, video arcades, shops, and karaoke stores.

National Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall. Built as a memorial to the former president of the Republic of China, the hall and square is now the hub for cultural events. Within the vicinity are the National Concert Hall and National Theatre, which had housed performances by Yo-yo Ma, Vienna Boys Choir, and even the late Luciano Pavarotti.

Taroko Gorge. Just a two-hour train ride from Taipei is the Taroko National Park, where the gorge is located. Taroko Gorge is known for its magnificent natural beauty and abundant supply of marble. Visitors can explore nature and many natural sights, including the Eternal Spring Shrine, Swallow Grotto, and Buluowan Village.

Wufenpu. Shopaholics will wander happily around Taipei’s main wholesale garment market, which sells the latest fashion trends at bargain basement prices. The shops are open daily from morning to midnight, and haggling is a skill that will take you far when you are roaming the streets of Wufenpu.