Budget carrier Philippines AirAsia, Inc. is hoping to rehire its laid-off workers by the second quarter of 2022.

“Rehiring to us is a top priority. As a matter of fact, hopefully by the second quarter [of next year], tingnan natin, papunta tayo diyan (let’s see, we will get there),” Philippines AirAsia Chief Executive Officer Ricardo P. Isla said at a virtual briefing on Friday.

“There will be more aircraft, more destinations, or flights, so the first thing we will do is rehire pilots, cabin crew, engineers, and maintenance people,” he added.

Philippines AirAsia also outlined the local destinations it currently serves that no longer require the reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) testing. These are Bacolod, Cagayan de Oro, Cebu, Iloilo, and Tacloban.

Bacolod, Bohol, Boracay, Cebu, Cagayan De Oro, Davao, General Santos, Iloilo, Kalibo, Puerto Princesa, Tacloban, Zamboanga have also started accepting senior citizens and minors.

The airline will soon reopen some of its regional routes, including Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, and Malaysia.

The low-cost airline also announced that it was recently awarded the “Best Low-Cost Airline in the world” for the 12th consecutive year by international airport and airline review and ranking site Skytrax. — Arjay L. Balinbin