Local flights spur Air Asia passenger growth
Philippines Air Asia, the local unit of Malaysian budget carrier giant Air Asia Berhad, saw passenger traffic increase 8 percent in the third quarter of 2016 as it mounted more flights to select domestic destinations.
The carrier, which competes with Philippine Airlines (PAL) and Cebu Pacific Air on domestic and Asian regional routes, said it carried 976,765 passengers from July to September this year, compared with 901,957 in the same period last year.
The firm—with its 15 planes, mostly Airbus A320s—said capacity during the period increased 9 percent. During this same period, it mounted 6,529 flights, up 9 percent from 5,995 in the same period last year.
“Frequencies were added on the Manila-Kalibo (Boracay) and Manila-Puerto Princesa routes,” the firm said.
Third quarter figures suggested a growing trend for the airline, which is led by Malaysian tycoon Tony Ferndandes, also the CEO and founder. The passenger growth in the last quarter added on to the 1.9 million passengers it carried in the first semester of 2016.
The firm is still a relatively small player here compared to PAL and Cebu Pacific. For the first nine months of the year, Cebu Pacific said January to September passenger traffic was up 6 percent to 14.48 million passengers. PAL has yet to disclose its numbers.
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