BUDGET carrier Philippines AirAsia is planning to launch direct flights to Tokyo, Japan by winter next year, a company official said.
With the airline’s bagging the utilized entitlements previously allocated to Philippine Airlines (PAL), it may now start flying to the premier airport in Japan. But for now, the company will be focusing on developing its route network tin China for the first half of next year.
The Japanese expansion will come in by the second half of 2016.
“We will launch Japan late next year, around winter time. We will focus on our China routes in the first half,” AirAsia Philippines CEO Joy D. Caneba said in an interview.
The carrier of taipan Lucio C. Tan previously held all 14 entitlements to Haneda Airport in Japan, but only half of those were utilized.
“We will fly to Tokyo via Haneda. If I wasn’t able to swing the deal, I might go for Narita,” Caneba said.
Haneda, also known as Tokyo International Airport, is one of the two premier airports servicing the Greater Tokyo Area. It is considered the world’s most slot-restrictive airport and a prime business hub.
The airport, which is around 30 minutes from the Tokyo metropolis, has one domestic and two international passenger terminals and connects conveniently to the Tokyo monorail.
Japan is the third-largest contributor to tourist arrivals in the Philippines with 334,881 visitors as of end-August, data from the Department of Tourism showed. Japanese visitors contributed P1.44 billion in tourism receipts in August alone.
Source: Lorenz S. Marasigan, http://www.businessmirror.com.ph