AirAsia eyes opening 4 new domestic routes by year-end

Low-cost carrier AirAsia Philippines plans to add four more domestic routes before the year ends to expand its network on the back of bullish recovery prospects.

“We are looking at adding four more routes to our network by the end of the year until the first quarter of 2022 — among which are Butuan, Laoag, Tawi-Tawi via Zamboanga, and Legazpi,” AirAsia Spokesperson and Head of Communications and Public Affairs Steve Dailisan said in an interview on Monday.

Last 18 August, AirAsia Philippines launched its 4x weekly flights to Davao from Cebu, with plans to increase to 7x weekly by September.

Meanwhile, Manila to Davao flights will also be increased from 21x to 28x weekly next month.

“AirAsia Philippines is now strategically boosting its inter-island route network to support the resumption of economies in different megacities and provinces. More than giving tourists an alternative mode of transportation, AirAsia Philippines would also like to support trade organizations as they slowly recover and restore their operations,” Dailisan said.

Asked if AirAsia plans to mount flights to and from Siargao, a tourist hot spot on the northeastern coast of Mindanao, Dailisan said, “Siargao is available on the AirAsia Super App through our ‘fly beyond LOB.'”

However, Dailisan stressed the carrier would not acquire small aircraft to accommodate flights to Siargao as their immediate priority is to buy larger planes.

“Expanding our international, long-haul connectivity is our two-year vision for AirAsia Philippines,” he said.

AirAsia Philippines is optimistic about closing the year with a fleet of 24 aircraft as it already has 10 as of June. It has already ordered A330 aircraft, which are bigger and more fuel-efficient to mount long-haul flights.

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