AirAsia boss: Travelers shift to Cebu, Palawan, Bohol with Boracay closed

Katrina Domingo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 17 2018 03:20 PM

SAN FERNANDO, Pampanga - AirAsia dodged the potentially "massive" impact of the closure of Boracay by redirecting traffic to other local destinations, including Cebu, Palawan and Bohol, group CEO Tony Fernandes said Thursday.

Some 27,000 passengers either rebooked or refunded their flights due to the closure, which started in late April, AirAsia Philippines President Dexter Comendador said. At least 600 flights were redirected because of the closure, data from the airline showed.

"I assumed that we will be [affected] but I was surprised that we were not because people booked Cebu, Palawan, and Bohol flights," Fernandes told reporters here.

"The good thing is we were given enough warning... so we were able to redirect to other parts so it wasn't a massive impact," he said.

Fernandes said Air Asia would operate 100 monthly flights to and from Boracay once the government reopens the island in late October.

Authorities rushed to clean the island after President Rodrigo Duterte in February flagged massive water pollution on the island, the effects of which he likened to a "cesspool."