TACLOBAN CITY – The Air Asia Foundation donated more than $2 million (P97 million) for the rehabilitation effort of Yolanda-hit areas. The Air Asia Foundation, the philanthropic arm of the Air Asia, made a relief campaign for Yolanda victims dubbed as “To Philippines with Love (#toPHwithlove) which ran for six weeks. According to Tony Fernandes, group corporate executive officer of Air Asia, the money raised by their foundation was donated to the Philippine Red Cross and Habitat for Humanity. The two aid groups would construct permanent houses to families who totally lose their homes during the onslaught of Yolanda on November 8, 2013. Fernandes in a press conference at the Tacloban City DZR airport said, the campaign raised a total of $2.17 million or P97 million. Fernandes was joined in the press conference by its partners Philippine Red Cross chairman and CEO Richard J. Gordon, PRC Secretary General Gwendolyn Pang and a representatives of the Habitat for Humanity. Also present were rehabilitation czar Panfilo “Ping” Lacson and Tacloban City Mayor Alfred Romualdez. Air Asia channeled to PRC P46million (USD$1.04million) for the construction of 325 permanent housing in Panay, one of the Yolanda-hit provinces. The donation brings closer to the 100,000 targeted core shelter units of the Philippine Red Cross for the Yolanda disaster-hit areas. For Tacloban City, with the matching and partner funds managed by Air Asia Foundation, Habitat for Humanity, will be receiving P37.4million ($850,000) for the 187 permanent housing units in the northern village of the city. The second phase of relief efforts of the airline company were collected on board flights, on ground at the airports, as well as through the online microsite. Air Asia was the first to respond and operate humanitarian flights carrying close to 5,000 relief workers and survivors as well as 400 tonnes of aid items to Tacloban, Cebu and Kalibo, Aklan. This is in addition to the 250,000 free seats made available across Air Asia’s Philippine network for people to travel in search of missing family members. Air Asia is the leading and largest low-cost carrier in Asia within the 12 years of operation. It has grown by leaps and bounds from two fleets to over 140 over a decade. Air Asia Foundation is the philanthropic arm of the Asia Group of Companies. Air Asia flies six times a week for Tacloban-Manila route with 90 percent load capacity. (VICKY C. ARNAIZ)