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AirAsia: high hopes for PH travel mart

The Philippine travel market can grow bigger than it was before the pandemic as tourism bounces back.

“Indonesia and the Philippines are growing very well and we want to grow them to a bigger size,” confirmed Tony Fernandes, CEO of Capital A, which operates budget carrier AirAsia Philippines.

As Southeast Asia’s economy outperform other regions, AirAsia stands to benefit, he project

Despite soaring commodity prices todate,

travel continues to be a lifestyle, he underscored.

“Travel is a very high part of someone’s discretionary income. And if things are a bit tighter, you will probably use a lower cost airline anyway.”

The country’s economic success and its waking up to the potential of tourism, especially in destinations like Bohol, Cebu and Davao, fuel growth in the tourism market, the CEO projected.

“The Philippines sits on the border of Korea, Japan and China. Filipinos want to travel more. So, we want to capture that international market,” according to Fernandes.

As the tourism sector continues to rebound,

the carrier plans to add more routes and increase frequencies in the coming months

Currently, AirAsia Philippines’ top destinations include Seoul, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore and Bangkok.

To cater to the growing travel market, the budget carrier is increasing its Manila-Singapore flights, from four to seven times weekly, starting December, according to CEO Ricky Isla.

The budget carrier will also start servicing Cebu to Singapore this November, as well as Osaka, Japan.

By the first quarter of 2023, it will open a Clark to Singapore service.

Overall, AirAsia’s plans to put back 210 aircraft in operation, from the present 110 in its fleet. Before 2022 ends, 160 planes should be in service, according to Fernandes.

“We really need to get the planes back in operation because we’re paying for fixed costs, but we don’t have the revenue from those assets,” he explained.

As for AirAsia Philippines, “By December, we will be almost nearing 40 percent of international levels. By early second quarter, we will reach 100 percent international capacity,” according to Isla.

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Credit belongs to : www.mb.com.ph

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