AirAsia eyes flights to Indonesia
MANILA, Philippines–Malaysian budget airline giant AirAsia Bhd, through its local units, said it would pursue flights from Manila to Indonesia should planned air talks result to more flights, a senior company official said on Wednesday.
AirAsia Zest chair Marianne Hontiveros told reporters that the carrier saw opportunities for both business and trade-related travel and also as there were few flights between the two Southeast Asian neighbors. The Philippines and Indonesia have yet to confirm a definite schedule for air talks.
“There are few direct flights to Indonesia from here. We also have an affiliate there, AirAsia Indonesia. So we can feed each other,” Hontiveros said. She noted that Jakarta had potential as a business destination.
“There are a lot of Filipino professionals there [from] mid- and top-level management,” she said. For tourism, she said Bali and Bandung were attractive destinations. AirAsia Zest, which operates at Manila’s Ninoy Aquino International Airport, is still controlled by Filipino businessman Alfredo Yao.
AirAsia holds a minority stake and it is seeking the approval of the Philippine Senate to gain control of the carrier. Hontiveros spoke to reporters at the sidelines of an event marking a corporate partnership between Solaire Resort and Casino, owned by businessman Enrique Razon Jr.’s Bloomberry Resorts Corp., and AirAsia. The partnership involves the use of Solaire’s brand on one of AirAsia’s Airbus A320s. Solaire is the first-ever consumer brand in the country to fully wrap and brand a commercial aircraft, Solaire said in a statement. No financial terms were disclosed.
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