AirAsia, DBM sign agreement for discounted airfares

Jessica Fenol, ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 02 2018 06:30 PM | Updated as of May 02 2018 07:33 PM

MANILA - The Department of Budget Management (DBM) on Wednesday signed an agreement with low-cost carrier AirAsia Philippines on discounted fares for official domestic travels.

Under the Government Fares Agreement (GFA), government officials and workers will get 8 to 9 percent discount on top of regular and promotional fares for tickets booked via the DBM's procurement service website. 

"Government can purchase tickets easier, faster and in a streamlined manner. No more bidding and shopping for lowest fares which makes procurement quicker," Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno said. 

The airline will also waive rebooking fees and offer 20 kilos baggage allowance for corporate full fares. 

Diokno said the government signed the same agreement with PAL and Cebu Pacific in 2016 which "positively impacted government transactions."

The budget chief said P202.8 million in sales were generated through GFA agreements that resulted to P19.5 million in savings in 2017. 

"Airline ticket is one of the most commonly requested items and the airfare expenses cost the government millions of pesos every year," he said. 

Signing the GFA is a way "to make the most out of taxpayers' money," Diokno added. 

DBM procurement service director Bingle Gutierrez also told reporters that the government has allotted P4 billion for official travel. 

AirAsia Philippines CEO Dexter Comendador said the carrier welcomes the partnership with the government. 

Comendador added the airline is likely to add more flights and open new routes including flights to Panglao International Airport, which is set to open in June. 

"We're increasing our frequencies. As our priority projects, were opening up a lot of hub in the Philippines not just in Manila, Kalibo and Cebu. We're looking forward to opening Clark as a low-cost carrier hub for AirAsia," Comendador said.