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Airline Review: AirAsia

When traveling to the Philippines, many travelers are now making the most of their journey by adding a second destination to explore. With the Philippines being centrally located in Southeast Asia, it is ideal to hop on a plane and explore a neighboring country like Malaysia, Thailand or Vietnam. Though PAL and Cebu Pacific are the common carriers for flights out of Manila, Air Asia, an award winning low-cost carrier in Asia continues to provide Filipinos affordable ways to travel.

Air Asia has received numerous recognition from Skytrax, as the World’s Best Low-Cost Airline in Asia for eight consecutive years. Founded on the ideals of simplicity and affordability, Air Asia’s mission aims to grow throughout the AESEAN countries by embracing technology and enhancing service levels.

Based out of Kuala Lumpur, AirAsia is broken up into two brands. AirAsia, low-cost short haul flights, and AirAsia X, which focuses on international flights out of Southeast Asia. With a fleet of 170 planes, AirAsia is responsible for 56 million passengers to over 109 destinations throughout the world. This “no-frills” airline which started in 2002, has allowed its passengers to enjoy budget-friendly fares without sacrificing service and quality. Passengers have complete control of their experience and have the option to select their seats, purchase meals and snacks, and choose from a variety of entertainment for a small fee.

In line with their concept, AirAsia does not offer first or business class seats to allow more seats on their planes. Hot Seats which are located at the front and emergency exit rows of the plane are available for an affordable fee. AirAsia seat configuration are comparable to other competitors which a slightly smaller seat pitch (29’) but with a larger width (31’).

Expanding throughout the ASEAN countries: Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Philippines and India, AirAsia celebrates each country’s unique culinary aromas and spices available on-board. From Malaysia’s Nasi Lemak to India’s Chicken Biryani, AirAsia passengers can try these entrees for an affordable average price of $3-5 USD. Not a bad deal when compared to other U.S. no-frills airlines JetBlue, snack boxes start at $7 USD. Additionally, if you pre-purchase your meal before your flight you can get 20% off and a complimentary drink.

Last year AirAsia Philippines made up a market share of 11% total; 13% on domestic travels and 8% for international travels. With 20 routes and 17 destinations from three domestic hubs, Manila(MNL), Cebu (CEB) and Kalibo (KLO), access to AirAsia’s affordable fares making travel even more convenient.

If you do decide to fly with AirAsia, consider that you pay for what you get. Although you may not receive all the usual amenities expected on other major airlines, AirAsia provides a service that alleviates the cost of travel within Asia. As it continues to expand with new routes to Sri Lanka and Australia while adding an additional fourteen Airbus A320s to its young fleet, travelers should prepare for the next big thing in travel.

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