AirAsia starts flights to General Santos, Zamboanga City

From left: AirAsia CFO Ray Berja, AirAsia CEO Ricky Isla, General Santos Mayor Ronnel Rivera, Senator Manny Pacquiao, Congresswoman Shirlyn Nograles, and Armin Hautea

Budget travel airline AirAsia has finally started flights to General Santos and Zamboanga City. 

AirAsia’s maiden flight from Manila to Mindanao arrived at  General Santos Airport on October 28 at around 9 a.m. and was welcomed with a traditional water cannon salute. 

Meanwhile, AirAsia’s maiden flight from Manila to Zamboanga arrived at the Zamboanga International Airport on October 27 at 3.30 p.m. and was also welcomed with a traditional water cannon salute. 

AirAsia Philippines CEO Ricky Isla described the maiden flights to the two provinces in Mindanao as a “milestone” for the company. 

“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,” Isla said.  

Zamboanga City is the second largest city in Mindanao and the sixth most populous in the Philippines. 

“This new destination will pave the way for expansive connectivity, bringing Filipino families closer together, and providing more opportunities across provinces in support of the local government’s vision to be the Asean economic hub in Southwestern Mindanao,” added Isla.

Zamboanga City Mayor Beng Climaco said AirAsia’s presence in Zamboanga “sparks hope and brings in more reasonable and budget-friendly options in air travel that will help businesses recover with all the impacts brought by the pandemic. Enhorabuena y vaya con Dios.”

Senator Manny Pacquiao, who comes from this part of Mindanao, appreciated the new development. “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 Sarangani Province share the same amount of gratitude.”

AirAsia is offering all-in promotional fares from Manila to Zamboanga for as low as P765 for BIG Loyalty Members for booking from today until November 1, and for travel between today and June 30, 2021. 

For AirAsia’s General Santos flights, AirAsia is offering all-in promotional fares from Manila to General Santos for as low as P800 for BIG Loyalty Members for bookings from today until November 1, and for travel commencing today until June 30, 2021. 

Raquel P. Gomez
Special Features writer at Philippine Daily Inquirer. She is tasked to write anything under the sun, but certain topics appeal to her personally, like technology, gardening, cooking, food, movies, TV series, heritage and historical areas, and travel. You may email her at