AirAsia is set to commence operation of its direct service to Kaohsiung International Airport in Taiwan from Mactan-Cebu International Airport (MCIA) in Cebu beginning Thursday, August 1, 2019.

AirAsia will service the Cebu-Kaohsiung route thrice weekly every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday using an Airbus A320 aircraft with 180 all-economy seats.

GMR Megawide Cebu Airport Corporation (GMCAC), together with the Mactan-Cebu International Airport Authority (MCIAA), welcomed this development, with some officials saying they are excited, as it will help position Cebu as a hub not just in the country but in Southeast Asia.

“We at the MCIA community are excited by the opening of AirAsia’s Cebu-Kaohsiung route. GMCAC is committed to positioning Cebu as a hub in Southeast Asia and in the Philippines. Our location makes MCIA the ideal jump-off point to other tourist destinations in the central and southern islands, and we are making this happen through strategic airline marketing efforts and partners such as AirAsia,” GMCAC President Louie Ferrer said.

Ferrer also expressed his thanks to the carrier.

“AirAsia has been one of our most dynamic partners in developing international connectivity and we thank them for their continued support of MCIA and Cebu,” he said.

A water cannon salute will welcome the inaugural flight from Kaohsiung to Cebu and its passengers on Thursday, August 1, at 4:40 p.m.

“The Philippines continues to be one of the top holiday destinations for Taiwanese. As the only Philippine airline to connect Cebu and Clark directly to Kaohsiung, we are pleased to be able to contribute to Philippine tourism and bring Cebuanos and Kapampangans closer to southern Taiwan as well,” said Philippines AirAsia President and CEO Dexter Comendador in a statement.

AirAsia will also launch the Clark-Kaohsiung route on the same day marking Kaohsiung as the airline’s 10th international destination to be launched this year.

“While Taipei has been one of the recently favored travel destinations of Filipinos, we urge the Cebuanos to explore the different sights and distinct flavors that can only be experienced in Kaohsiung,” said Aines Librodo, GMCAC Airline Marketing and Tourism Development head.

From Mactan-Cebu International Airport, AirAsia flies to 13 destinations, namely, Manila, Clark, Davao, Cagayan De Oro, Puerto Princesa, Caticlan, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, Seoul, Shenzhen, Macau, Taipei, and Kaohsiung.

With the addition of this new route, Mactan-Cebu airport is now connected to 28 domestic destinations and 23 international destinations with nine Philippine-based and 17 foreign airline partners.