Budget airline AirAsia inaugurated a direct flight route from Manila, the Philippines to Jakarta on Tuesday (09/01) in the hopes of alluring more businessmen to travel between the two busiest cities in Southeast Asia.
The Manila-Jakarta and Jakarta-Manila direct routes now operate once everyday, departing from Manila at 8 a.m. local time and arriving in Jakarta 11 a.m. local time.
During the inaugural flight, AirAsia claimed that its Airbus A320 plane was booked to capacity, carrying 137 passengers from Manila to Jakarta, while the return flight still had some empty seats.
Over the last six years, people from Jakarta, who use AirAsia, had to transit in Kuala Lumpur or Singapore first before they could arrive in Manila.
With the opening of the new route, the Indonesian government expects business ties between the two countries to strengthen.
The airline also open a new direct flight from Manila to Denpasar, Bali, (19/01).