Underprivileged children board AirAsia Zest flights, taken on tour
A total of 30 underprivileged children had their dreams to fly in an airplane fulfilled after an airline took them in for a joyride last Dec. 12, 2014.
The children were chosen from Batang Opon Foundation, Cebu City Task Force on Street Children Foundation SOS Village and Tambayan Center for Children’s Rights Incorporated. They were divided into two groups and were made to board different flights of AirAsia Zest out of Cebu. One group from Davao City took a flight to Cebu.
The first group took AirAsia Zest’s inaugural flight to Davao at 9:10 a.m. and arrived at the Bangoy International Airport at 10:20. They toured Davao City before taking the return flight to Cebu.
The second group took the 12:35 p.m. AirAsia Zest flight to Cagayan de Oro City and arrived at the Laguindingan Airport in Misamis Oriental at 1:25 p.m. They too were taken on a tour to Cagayan de Oro City before taking the return flight to Cebu.
The third group from the Tambayan Center for Children’s Right in Davao City took the 11 a.m. flight to Cebu. They also toured Metro Cebu before flying back to Davao City.
AirAsia Zest director for flight operations Capt. Dexter Commendador said, “We’re extremely excited to celebrate the return of Air Asia flights from Cebu to Davao and Cebu to Cagayan de Oro, and what’s more memorable is that we’re going to celebrate our inaugural flights by fulfilling the dreams of 30 kids.
“Like these kids, Air Asia started with a dream – to make flying affordable to everyone.”
Brexel Faith Amplayo, 11, Grade 5 pupil of Looc Elementary School in Lapu-Lapu City, one of those selected from the Batang Opon Foundation was overjoyed with her wish-come-true.
“Gusto kaayo ko mosakay og eroplano kay mao na akong dream sukad gamay pa ko,” (I really wanted to ride an airplane. That’s my dream since I was a little girl), said Brexel.
She was very excited while being interviewed by Cebu Daily News at the pre-departure area of the MCIA. Brexel Faith and four other children from the Batang Opon Foundation went to Cagayan de Oro via the Laguindingan Airport.
Brexel Faith wishes to have a robot, tablet, doll and a doll house, and school supplies this Christmas.
Another kid, Al Shahhid Akalal, 12, from the Pari-an Drop-in Center only wished to have a mobile phone. He wrote: “Sana magkaroon ako ng magandang cell phone,” (I wish I will have a very nice cell phone).
Before AirAsia Zest resumed flights to Davao and Cagayan de Oro cities, a ceremonial ribbon cutting was done. It was attended by MCIAA Manager Nigel Paul Villarete, MCIAA Assistant General Manager Ahmed Cuizon, GMR Megawide
President Louie Ferrer, Department of Tourism Region 7 Senior Tourism Operations Officer Judilyn Quiachon, Cebu Provincial Tourism Officer Grace Paulino and Commendador.
During the program, the children placed their messages of hope and wishes on a Christmas tree