By Arjay L. Balinbin, Senior Reporter

PHILIPPINES AirAsia, Inc. said its logistics venture Teleport is looking to roll out its delivery services in more areas in the country in 2022.

Teleport, a wholly owned venture of AirAsia, is advancing the group’s cargo and logistics ambitions.

“For cargo, we want to tap routes or provinces with regular cargo demand such as Roxas and Dumaguete in Visayas, as well as Butuan, Cotabato, Pagadian and Tawi-Tawi for Mindanao starting Q2 (second quarter of) 2022 onwards,” Philippines AirAsia Chief Executive Officer Ricardo P. Isla said in a statement to BusinessWorld on Nov. 25.

Teleport aims to meet the e-commerce demand that has been accelerated by the coronavirus pandemic.

“Part of the expansion plan is to maximize the all-cargo aircraft of Teleport from our regional hubs to service the growing cargo market in the Philippines sustained by the unprecedented growth of e-commerce,” Mr. Isla said.

Triggered by the pandemic, more people are buying goods and services online. The Philippine e-commerce sector is seen to contribute P1.2 trillion to the economy by 2022, representing 5.5% of the gross domestic product, according to the government’s e-commerce road map.

“We carried more volume this year because of the uptick in demand of our commercial flights, which resulted in more cargo capacity to fill in,” Mr. Isla said.

“We also started adding more clients in the third quarter, which contributed at least 3-5% of the overall tonnage carried versus the same period last year.”

He also expects that the easing of restrictions will bring back the demand for local business owners and other industries to and from Manila.

“Demand for business travelers will also increase which will result to additional flight frequencies and more cargo capacity to offer.”

Demand in 2022, the airline anticipates, will be driven primarily by flight frequency, seamless network, and competitive pricing.