AirAsia PH to add more aircraft this year | Inquirer Business

AirAsia PH to add more aircraft this year

AirAsia Philippines is targeting to have 24 aircraft in operation by year-end as it seeks to relaunch more routes to international destinations with the reopening of borders.

Ricky Isla, CEO of the low-cost airline, told the reporters at an event in Malaysia last week they have 10 aircraft currently servicing passengers and were expecting to add two by the end of this month.

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Isla also expressed the need to secure bigger planes that are more cost efficient and environment friendly to fly more passengers.

Currently, AirAsia Philippines is doing market visits to more international destinations, including the Middle East, as it restores passenger capacity with the return of air travel demand.

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Route expansion

“We are also flying to Australia where there are also a lot of Filipinos,” he said.

Isla said the airline was eyeing to include Sandakan in its Sabah network after recently resuming flights to Kota Kinabalu from Manila.

As for demand, the AirAsia Philippines official said that 50 percent of the daily flight ticket purchases were forward bookings.

“We see a lot of improvements such that 30 to 60 or even 90 days [ahead], they are already booking their flights, which we never saw towards fourth quarter of 2021. But starting March and April, there were a lot of forward bookings,” he said.

Network restoration

Isla said they were aiming to restore about 60 percent of their international network capacity by the last quarter and increase this to 100 percent by the second quarter of next year.

AirAsia Philippines is now implementing a Level 11 fuel surcharge following its application before the Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) last month.

Under Level 11, CAB allows airlines to collect additional P355 to P1,038 per passenger for domestic flights and P1,172.07 to P8,714.84 for international flights.

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Fuel surcharges are optional fees that the airlines can charge to help them recover fuel costs. These are separate from the base fare, which is the actual amount paid by the passenger for his or her seat.

Despite more fees, the low-cost carrier still sees revenge travel and seat sale promos driving demand. INQ

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TAGS: AirAsia, Business
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