Taiwanese low-cost carrier V Air began its Manila-Taipei service on March 27.
V Air is the first low-cost carrier from Taiwan to move into the Manila market, utilizing an Airbus A320 aircraft with a seating capacity of 180 for the route.
“We believe there is a huge market potential between Taiwanese and Philippine markets. We offer four round trips per week initially, but we hope we will increase frequencies in the coming future,” V Air chief commercial officer Bernard Hsu said in a press conference on March 27 as he welcomed the airline’s ninth and latest service.
He expressed hopes the carrier will eventually become the preferred airline of the Filipino traveler on a budget.
“Our operations in Manila will be significant in securing a strong foothold in the region,” he added.
Taiwan’s ambassador to the Philippines Gary Song-Huann Lin noted the inaugural flight was a good move following the amendment of the aviation agreement between the Philippines and Taiwan in 2014.
“We have enhanced the passenger capacity of our air services between the two countries. We would like to support President (Benigno) Aquino III’s important policy which is to boost tourism,” he said.
The ambassador said an estimated 200,000 Taiwanese tourists visit the Philippines annually, while some 150,000 Filipino tourists fly to Taiwan yearly.
Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) assistant general manager Vicente Guerzon said he is looking forward to increased collaboration between the Philippines and Taiwan.
“I hope this provides network opportunities to work together in facing challenges in the civil aviation sector in this country,” Guerzon said.
“More flights to the Philippines mean more jobs. We in MIAA are so grateful to our airline partners for continuously operating flights to and from Manila,” Guerzon added.
V Air, established in November 2013, was officially launched on December 17, 2014 with the introduction of its Taipei-Bangkok service. It targets expanding the network to Japanese and Korean destinations.
The “V” in V Air roughly refers to the traits possessed by the young generation, as it can mean “voyage, vision, vivid, victor and venture,” said a company statement.