MANILA - AirAsia Philippines said Monday it has completed its "longest flight to date" to bring home 125 stranded Filipino seamen from India.
The carrier flew a 14-hour flight over the weekend to Manila from Gujarat, India, AirAsia said in a statement. The charter flight departed from Manila at 7:05 a.m. on July 18 and flew back on July 19.
“We are pleased to have not only mounted the longest flight ever for AirAsia Philippines but, at the same time, helped repatriate Filipinos overseas. We know how much they have longed to come home and we are honored to be part of their safe return to the Philippines," AirAsia Philippines CEO Ricky Isla said.
The special recovery flight was facilitated by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Regent Travel Corporation, it said.
Prior to the record breaking flight, the airline's record was an 8-hour recovery flight between Manila and Yangon, Myanmar. AirAsia said its average commercial international flight duration is 3 hours.
AirAsia has mounted nearly 400 special recovery and cargo flights since March 2020, flying over 25,000 passengers and over 600,000 kilograms to 30 domestic and international destinations.
Local airlines resumed select domestic and international flights after Metro Manila and other areas emerged from an 11-week lockdown in June.