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AirAsia adds new routes, wants to build airports in Philippines

MANILA, Philippines - Budget airline AirAsia was among those who responded to President Duterte’s call for investments in Southeast Asia, particularly in the Philippines. 

The President met last week with AirAsia CEO Tony Fernandes on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum (WEF) on ASEAN in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, where the Malaysian tycoon expressed his desire to expand existing investments in the Philippines and even build airports in the country. 

Fernandes also briefed the President on the increase in the number of flights to different domestic destinations from Duterte’s hometown, Davao City.

AirAsia is one of the long-standing strategic private sector partners of WEF.

Duterte assured Fernandes and the other business leaders he met during the WEF on ASEAN that government will do everything to harness investment.

“With our growing economies, creative, talented and young work force and rich natural resources, Southeast Asia now stands at the center of the future of the Asia-Pacific. Responsible economic partners are our new allies in nation building and regional integration. Working with them, we can narrow the development gap,” Duterte said. 

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The President said he spoke of the opportunities for mutually beneficial partnership, especially in the Philippines’ infrastructure development program.

“With Build, Build, Build, I invited stakeholders to take part in what is the largest effort to date to modernize and integrate Philippine infrastructure,” he said. 

AirAsia’s plan to build airports in the Philippines, an official close to the President said, jibes with the government’s plan to build the needed infrastructure in the country. 

Fernandes confirmed in a social media post that he had a good and productive meeting with Duterte in Phnom Penh.

Meanwhile, AirAsia, the airline voted the World’s Best for eight consecutive years by Skytrax, began servicing new routes to and from Cebu, Davao, Clark, Palawan and Caticlan/Boracay last April.

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