“We Plan to have AirAsia in every ASEAN country” says Zaman Ahmad,the Regional Head of Customer Experience of AirAsia in Malaysia during a short talk in their office. I was sitting on a bean bag surrounded by a few stuffed angry bird dolls and some tall stools for sitting. The meeting room was definitely a ground where playful imagination and ideas can run around. Must be why AirAsia had been successful as a low-cost carrier when it started – they were having fun doing it.
AirAsia was my first carrier to bring me out of the country in 2004. And getting an invitation for a fam-tour to get a peek on what makes AirAsia tick was interesting reason to join the tour. In line to what Zaman was saying, the Philippines is currently establishing its Hub in Clark. Before, the operations came from Malaysia but now it will originate from here with Filipino staffs and Philippine based aircrafts.
Check-in process was a breeze using the automated kiosks where one just needs to punch in the flight code details and a boarding pass would be printed out. For check-in baggage, we just went to counters to drop them off. There was several staff there already to assist their passengers.
Flight was smooth sailing and we reached the LCCT (Low Cost Carrier Terminal) mid-afternoon. Zaman also mentioned during the talk that one of their strategies is to always operate on Low-Cost Terminals, hence the DMIA (Diosdado Macapagal International Airport) in Clark. No chance of seeing them in Manila.
AirAsia’s office is also located in the LCCT. We got a brief tour of this dynamic driven workplace with hallways filled with awards and citations accumulated through the years of operation. We even get to see the headman, Tony Fernandez’s work desk. His corner was filled with caps and music record and a couple of comfy chairs for guests. What struck me was how open his office was that anyone can just come in and approach him. Such humble and creative his space was, too bad he wasn’t there. It would have been a blast if we met him.
Ferdz Decena is an award-winning travel photographer, writer and blogger. His works has found print in publications such as Singapore Airlines’s Silver Kris, Philippine Airlines’ Mabuhay, Cebu Pacific’s Smile and Seair InFlight. He has also lent his expertise to various organizations like the Oceana Philippines, Lopez Group Foundation, Save the Children and World Vision, contributing quality images for their marketing materials.