Xiamen Airlines launches Kalibo flight
XIAMEN CITY, Fujian, China: With more Chinese nationals eager to spend their vacation on world-famous Boracay Island, Xiamen Airlines is set to inaugurate direct flights to Kalibo, Aklan in June this year, an airline officer said.
Xiamen Airlines vice president Hu Nan said late Thursday the first airline company in China to operate as a modern enterprise will fly to Kalibo two to three times weekly.
“We are just addressing commercial terms and we will have an inaugural flight this coming June,” Hu told nine journalists from Southeast Asian countries invited by the Chinese Foreign Ministry to tour this province in a bid to remind the world of the Maritime Silk Route that made China famous, particularly its pristine ceramic products.
Xiamen Airlines, which is based in this city, currently flies to Manila and Cebu with no less than 67 flights weekly.
“We want to add more flights to Manila but the traffic is heavy and we can’t get slots anymore,” Hu said, adding that Chinese-Filipinos who have relatives in the province are their frequent fliers.
Xiamen Airlines operates the largest all-Boeing fleet in China and now services as far as Australia, Vancouver (Canada), and various cities in Europe. It is the preferred airline of Chinese passengers, particularly those visiting Singapore and the rest of the Southeast Asian nations.
It has total assets of 40 billion RMB ($5.8 billion, P290.36 billion) and net assets of 16 billion RMB.
“We are increasing our clientele by transforming our Xiamen airport into a transit hub to America, including Vancouver. So far, many Filipinos are making this as transit hub, including seafarers,” Han said.
At present, Xiamen Airlines has 11 destinations in Southeast Asia, and six international destinations. By 2020, it will have 286 aircraft, 15 of which will be wide-body airplanes.
Han said Xiamen Airlines has the longest continuous operating profit record of any non-government-owned airline company in China and is the only local company to achieve 30 consecutive profitable years.
He added that they are considering Clark International Airport as an alternative but they realized it is too expensive to maintain two airports at this time with the same clients.
Other cities in Fujian Province where Xiamen Airlines operates flights to Manila include Fuzhou, Quanzhou, and Zhangzhou.