After Clark, AirAsia developing hubs in Puerto Princesa, Bohol
MANILA, Philippines – With a goal of increasing its fleet to 70 jets, Philippines AirAsia Incorporated is developing hubs in Puerto Princesa, Palawan and Panglao, Bohol, which are two of the country's top tourist draws.
"We are opening up Panglao when it opens up and Puerto Princesa. These will be opened up as hubs because we are lacking space in Manila. In the next 10 years, we should have 70 planes," AirAsia president and chief executive officer Dexter Comendador told reporters on the sidelines of an event in Mandaluyong City last week.
Comendador had reiterated the airline's goal to make the Clark International Airport its main hub for operations, as the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) has inadequate space for the budget airline's fleet expansion.
In the next 3 to 5 years, Comendador said Philippines AirAsia targets to double its fleet. By 2032, it aims to have 70 planes. (READ: From 2 jets to 70: AirAsia returns to its Clark roots)
"We need to distribute the planes to the countryside. It will spread then development will follow," the chief of Philippines AirAsia added.
In 2013, the local unit of AirAsia moved its operations to the NAIA Terminal 4 in Manila after its then-affiliate Zest Airways Incorporated suffered heavy losses. It was in March 2017 when AirAsia moved back to its Clark roots.
In line with its goal to increase its fleet, Philippines AirAsia is also increasing its flight frequencies to China, including Cebu-Shenzhen, Shanghai, and Guangzhou within the month.
Comendador said Philippines AirAsia is looking to launch direct flights between Manila and Osaka, Japan by the 3rd quarter of 2018.
"We're trying to share each other's tourists in the AirAsia group to bring them in here. Boracay is just a glitch. There's Panglao, Puerto Princesa, Davao, Cebu. There are other places," Comendador added, referring to the 6-month closure of Boracay to tourists.
Philippines AirAsia operates a fleet of 17 aircraft with domestic and international flights out of hubs in Manila, Cebu, Kalibo, and Clark.
It flies to Manila, Davao, Cebu, Kalibo, Tacloban, Tagbilaran, Puerto Princesa, Clark, Shanghai, Taipei, Incheon, Hong Kong, Macau, Kuala Lumpur, Kota Kinabalu, and Singapore. – Rappler.com