Corporate News

AirAsia Philippines sets Singapore flights

Posted on October 01, 2012

THE COUNTRY’S newest low-cost carrier will fly to Singapore starting mid-December, making the neighboring Southeast Asian market its fourth international destination after it began operations in March, AirAsia Philippines said in a statement yesterday.

“Philippines’ AirAsia, the country’s newest low-cost carrier, will begin its daily flights to Singapore on Dec. 15,� the carrier said in its statement.

The statement quoted AirAsia Chief Executive Marianne B. Hontiveros as saying the company wants to take advantage of growing demand for flights to Singapore.

“We will begin our daily flights to Singapore in December to cater to the growing demand for both business and leisure travel, and equally important, this new route will provide low-cost, high-value service to our OFWs (overseas Filipino workers) in Singapore so they can come home and reunite with their families as often as possible,� Ms. Hontiveros said.

The airline, operated by AirAsia, Inc., started international operations in May beginning with Kuala Lumpur, Macau and Hong Kong from its hub in Diosdado Macapagal International Airport in Clark, Pampanga.

For its domestic operations, the carrier flies to Kalibo, Aklan as well as the cities of Davao and Puerto Princesa, also from Clark.

The airline operates two Airbus A320 aircraft. A third plane, which will arrive in November, will be used for its flights to Singapore.

A fourth aircraft, which is set to arrive in December, will enable the company to offer additional flights, Ms. Hontiveros had said in August.

The airline in July scaled down its target to 600,000 passengers for its first full year of operations, 31.43% down from an original 875,000 target “due to changes in planned routes to be offered� and “late start of operations.�

The company, which was supposed to start operations in December last year, launched flights on March 28 due to delays in obtaining an air operating certificate from the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines.

Aside from Malaysia, Hong Kong, Macau and Singapore, the Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) also granted the carrier rights to fly to Cambodia and Japan.

It was granted seven flights per week on the Clark-Cambodia route and six flights per week that it can use either on the Clark-Osaka route or Clark-Nagoya route.

AirAsia Philippines flew 60,381 domestic passengers in the first half out of the 135,000 total number of seats offered, yielding a 44.73% load factor, CAB records show.

The company is a joint venture among Malaysian carrier AirAsia Bhd., which owns 40%, as well as Philippine businessmen Antonio O. Cojuangco III, Michael L. Romero and Ms. Hontiveros who each holds 20%. -- CHCV