Air Asia eyes Japan flights
PHILIPPINES Air Asia Inc. is planning to mount direct flights to Japan in late 2016.
Company chief executive Joy Cañeba told reporters last week Japan was a potentially lucrative market for both tourists and business travelers.
She said the carrier was initially targeting to fly to Haneda International Airport, which serves Tokyo. If this does not push through, the carrier will fly to Narita International Airport, she said.
She said the company, which is looking to book its first full-year profit in 2016, will focus on route expansion to and from China and South Korea in the first half of next year.
The domestic unit of Malaysia’s Air Asia Berhad, founded by tycoon Tony Fernandes, is set to lease five more Airbus A320s next year. It already has an existing fleet of 12 A320s.
“China and the Philippines is a natural route combination. We have a lot of Chinese here,” Cañeba said, adding they were drawn to the Entertainment City casino complex along Manila Bay.
She said the company could further grow if there are better infrastructure systems. She said the country has a limited number of air gateways that can accommodate their Airbus A320s.
In line with this, the carrier is studying to acquire smaller turbo-prob planes, which are also being used by domestic rivals Philippine Airlines and Cebu Pacific Air. Miguel R. Camus
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