AirAsia boss admits: ‘I don’t think we’ll overtake’ Cebu Pacific
PARIS — AirAsia founder Tony Fernandes himself admitted that AirAsia Philippines could not beat yet its low-cost competitor, Cebu Pacific Air, but said there was nothing wrong with being a “strong number 2.”
“I don’t think we’ll ever overtake Cebu, ” Fernandes told Manila-based reporters after attending the Skytrax World’s Airline Awards in Le Bourget, Paris on Tuesday where AirAsia was named the World’s Best Low Cost Airline and Asia’s Best Low Cost Airline.
“And the reality is we never went in there to be market leaders. We want to develop the market. We want to develop Philippines and create new jobs,” he said.
At this point, Fernandes said, his focus was not how to make AirAsia Philippines the number one low-cost carrier in the Philippines but how to bring the 55 million passengers of AirAsia to the country.
“Philippines has two million tourists, Malaysia has 20 million tourists. Something is not right. You have a beautiful country, it has much more to offer than Malaysia and so you know we think we can contribute to that,” he said.
“Maybe one day, we can be bigger, who knows? But that’s not our intention. Our intention is to go as quickly as possible and make some money, and create some jobs and develop some new areas… ,“ the Malaysian tycoon added.
What most Filipinos might have not realized, he said, was that the Philippines probably has the best economy in Southeast Asia right now.
“I know that sounds crazy. For many years, you lagged but I think now because of political reforms, because of the openness, you’re fast catching up with the best economies. Really, you should be proud of what you’ve achieved in the Philippines,” Fernandes said.
Fernandes said that unlike other popular destinations such as Bali and Phuket, the Philippines has an “untold secret” that the people need to know.
“There’s a lot more that people need to know about the Philippines… Philippines has so much more to offer,” he further said. IDL
Originally posted: 11:53 AM June 17th, 2015
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