I hurriedly clocked out from work in order to head home and pack my things. At 3:30 in the morning, I was still figuring out what to bring for a 6-day retreat abroad. I was invited to a free trip from Cebu to Hong Kong by Airphil Express (formerly known as Air Philippines).
This airline has done major upgrades and is now climbing its way to becoming a tough competition among the budget airlines in the country. This is great news for travelers like me who are always looking for cheap fares online. This helps me book flights at lesser costs – I wouldn’t have traveled to a number of countries and local places if it weren’t for promo fares.
After taking a quick shower, I immediately put on some clothes and brought out my stuff. I felt that time was running out and I had to be at the Mactan airport fast. Then I realized, while riding a cab, that it was still dawn and there were hardly any vehicles around. I arrived at the airport around 4:45am.
Click the photo for a larger view.
Airphil Express Inaugural Flight from Cebu to Hong Kong
I didn’t understand how big an occasion this was until I was there at the departure area where a program was held to introduce this new flight route. That’s when I found out that this was the first flight of this budget airline to HongKong. There are no flights (yet) from Manila to Hong Kong which makes it more accessible for people from the Visayas and Mindanao to book flight to one of the world’s most densely populated areas.
Dragon dance, free breakfast buffet and formal speeches from Airphil Express officials were presented in order to welcome this new route. They even had surprise game where a lucky passenger was able to win a free trip to the same destination.
We boarded the Airbus A320 and we commenced the flight on time. I was a little nervous because this was, after all, a maiden flight, so I didn’t know what to expect. Morbid thoughts came to mind but that’s because of watching too many Final Destination movies. There was a storm in the Philippines at the time which added to the apprehension. But I just caught up with sleep as it was still going to be a long day then.
Hong Kong Arrival
The plane touched down 30 minutes earlier than expected. When we arrived at the Hong Kong International Airport, we were directed to an area in the terminal for a press briefing to also celebrate the partnership between Airphil Express and Jardine Airport Services Ltf & Jardine Air Terminal Services Ltd.
HK Press People
It was a good experience and we spent the remaining day with a complimentary tour of some of Hong Kong’s famous spots. All the while in my mind, I was already thinking about other places that I haven’t visited as well as revisiting places I definitely wanted to go back again.
View of Hong Kong Island from Victoria Harbour
Hong Kong is my first international destination and I was thinking that it would be a long time before I could visit this region again. I had more days during this trip to just chill and relax as well as to people-watch. Ultimately, I wanted to check out the food which I totally missed out on the last time I was here.
Hong Kong Crowd
Food on the Streets!
Airphil Express Expansion
This is still the beginning of the airline company’s efforts to expand its routes. Who knows, they might offer cheap flights to Florida in the future. I also like the fact that they have 15 Kilos extra baggage allowance despite being a promo fare. Plus their website looks a lot better now. Many thanks to the Air phil Express staff for this opportunity as well as the HK airport immigration and staff for the assistance!
Airphil Express Airbus A320
I work in a BPO company and I travel in order to get a temporary vacation from the stress that comes from working in a nocturnal industry. Having more options gives customers more choices when it comes to booking flights online so Airphil Express is definitely targeting the right market.
Check out my other articles about my second Cebu to Hong Kong trip here:
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soloflightEd.com is a travel blog by Edcel Suyo. He enjoys performing headstands and crazy stunts during his trips in the Philippines, Southeast Asia, and the Middle East. Now based in Dubai, United Arab Emirates and working to earn a living, he takes time to enjoy the city and travel during weekends.
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