AirAsia Philippines takes delivery of first aircraft

15 Aug 2011

AirAsia’s venture into the Philippines – a partnership with tycoon Antonio Cojuangco – received its first Airbus A320, marking a milestone in the neophyte company’s development.

The new aircraft, configured with 180 seats, is the first of four scheduled to arrive before the end of 2012.

The low-cost venture, which was announced last year (see story here), is based at the Diosdado Macapagal International Airport in Clark with hopes to tap into the high demand for low-cost regional travel. Currently, however, the carrier is still awaiting approval to begin commercial flights from its Pampanga province base to Asian hotspots such as Singapore, Hong Kong, Macau, Bangkok and Seoul Incheon.

Chief executive of AirAsia Philippines, Marianne Hontiveros, said: “This is a proud moment for AirAsia Philippines as the arrival of the new aircraft signifies our first step in introducing ourselves to the nation.”

AirAsia Philippines is AirAsia Group’s fourth such venture after AirAsia Malaysia, AirAsia Thailand and AirAsia Indonesia, with a fifth partnership with All Nippon Airways (ANA) confirmed (see story here).

Eager to tap into the robust growth of budget travel, legacy carriers, including Singapore Airlines (see story here) and ANA (see story here) have launched subsidiaries catering to this sector.

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Alisha Haridasani

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