Using its P10-billion expansion program, budget carrier Airphil Express will acquire 20 aircraft in the next three years to service both its domestic and regional operations, an airline official said Friday. This move is intended to meet the growing demands of people to travel by air, said Airphil Express executive vice president and COO Cesar Chiong. “Our forward booking is very strong and we expect to close the year with compelling numbers," Chiong said, noting that the low-cost carrier already “exceeded its revenue expectations" for September and October. “After our maiden flight to Singapore, we will fly to other regional routes like Hong Kong and Thailand in the coming months," he said. Airphil Express, formerly Air Philippines, had its debut flight from Manila to Singapore on Wednesday. The carrier will fly 14 times to and from Singapore. “This new air transport link is a strong indicator of the growing connectivity between our two countries…. This will spur business and trade, strengthen the bonds among Southeast Asians, and facilitate cultural interaction," said Consul General Neil Imperial of the Philippine Embassy in Singapore. Apart from Airphil Express, Philippine Airlines, Singapore’s Jetstar, and Cebu Pacific fly on a daily basis to and from Singapore. Airphil Express’ Manila-Singapore
leave at 4 p.m. while the airline’s Singapore-Manila flights leave at 8 p.m. The low-cost carrier will add Cebu-Singapore (vice versa) routes on Dec. 1.