AirAsia Consolidates Philippines Operations


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AirAsia (AK, Kuala Lumpur Int’l) is on track to consolidate its two Filipino operations – AirAsia Philippines (PQ, Manila) and AirAsia Zest (Z2, Manila) – into one single, unified entity. Having secured the go-ahead from the Filipino senate earlier in the year, Philippines AirAsia CEO Joy Caneba told CAPA that final approval to merge the brands was recently secured with the AirAsia Zest brand to be phased out in due course.

In February, AirAsia Philippines moved to acquire a majority 51% shareholding in Zest Airways, Inc. t/a AirAsia Zest. Under the deal, Zest Airways Inc.’s majority shareholder Alfredo Yao took a 15% stake in AirAsia Philippines in addition to cash, while AirAsia Philippines’ existing Filipino shareholders – Antonio Cojuangco, Michael Romero, and Marianne Hontiveros – each received a 15% stake in the carrier. The remaining 40% is owned by parent company, AirAsia Berhad of Malaysia.

Regulatory requirements complete, AirAsia Zest will rebrand and operate as AirAsia Philippines thereby unifying the AirAsia brand in the Philippines, Caneba added.

In terms of operations, the new consolidated carrier will sell off its older A320-200s as well as those powered by V2500s that were inherited from Zest. With each of the carrier’s shareholders injecting a total of USD50 million in fresh capital, the Filipino LCC intends to resume fleet growth in 2016 adding three additional A320-200s each year.

In terms of networking plans, the airline will focus on developing its Chinese market operations where growth has been particularly strong. Future bases will likely focus on secondary cities and may include Puerto Princesa which the LCC intends to connect with destinations in China as well as Malaysia once airport facilities permit.

Source: http://www.ch-aviation.com

Air Asia PH To Take on Philippine Mainstays


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TACLOBAN CITY — AirAsia is eyeing to increase passenger volume in the Philippines by 50% this year, a top official said.

“I just turned 50 and I still have the energy to live in the next 50 years. Cebu Pacific and Philippine Airlines should watch out for that growth,” AirAsia Group Chief Executive Officer Anthony F. Fernandes said in jest during a press conference here Friday.

He said the designation of Kalibo Airport in Aklan as the airline’s secondary hub in the country will open new opportunities.

“We have a very exciting plan outside of Manila where we can open up new markets through tourism growth,” he added.

He said the carrier plans to increase domestic flights to 13 from the current seven per day between Manila and Kalibo.

In addition, the airline plans several new services to China by June, specifically to Wenzhou, Guangzhou, Chengdu, Ningbo, Changsha, Xiamen, and Hangzhou.

Marianne Hontiveros, Philippines AirAsia president and chief executive officer, said consolidation with Zest Air, Inc. this year will be a major growth driver for the airline in this country.

“We are in the final stages of consolidation with AirAsia Zest. We are just waiting for the approval of the Senate before moving to final acquisition,” Ms. Hontiveros said.

Philippines AirAsia bought into Zest Air, which has been rebranded to AirAsia Zest. The two airlines have just completed consolidation and rationalization of domestic rates.

The merger will bring total flights to 50 for domestic routes and 20 for international destinations.

Ms. Hontiveros said the carrier was also awaiting approval by the Civil Aeronautics Board to fly to Bangkok, Singapore and Japan from Manila or Kalibo.

The airline is also eyeing expansion to Ninoy Aquino International Airport terminal 4 and additional slots at terminal 3.

“The restoration of category 1 (by the United States Federal Aviation Administration last Apr. 9) for Manila Airport and the lifting of European Union ban (for Philippine Airlines in July last year and Cebu Pacific also on Apr. 9) will open many opportunities for AirAsia and Philippines,” she added.

Meanwhile, the airline has raised P97 million to rebuild 500 homes and finance livelihood activities for survivors of typhoon Yolanda in the Visayas. The main recipient, Philippine Red Cross, will build 325 homes in Panay for P46 million while Habitat for Humanity will get P37.4 million to construct 187 permanent housing in Tacloban City. The livelihood component has been allotted P8 million, which will be used to revive sari-sari stores through Hapinoy’s Project Bagong Araw. Some donations were set aside to aid affected airport workers.

“The campaign ‘To Philippines With Love’ received donations from people in 75 countries all over the world. AirAsia is proud to match this donation and ensure that every cent goes to rebuilding lives,” Mr. Fernandes said.

The airline accepted cash donations on board flights and at airports as well as through AirAsia Foundation’s microsite.

Source: Sarwell Q. Meniano, Business World

A FIRST IN 10 YEARS | Domestic Air Travel Contracts, Calamities Take Toll on Passenger Traffic


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MANILA – Domestic air travel contracted for the first time in nearly a decade mostly because of a series of natural and man-made calamities.

Data from the Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) show that the number of domestic passengers fell by 1.1 percent to 20.3 million last year from 20.6 million in 2012. This was the first time since 2004 that domestic passenger traffic contracted, with the decline happening amid local airlines’ capacity expansion.

In the previous eight years, the domestic market had been growing by double digits.

The drop in domestic air traffic was in contrast to the 3.5 percent increase in international passengers to 17.34 million in 2013 from 16.74 million the previous year.

Porvenir Porciuncula, deputy executive director of CAB, blamed the decline in domestic traffic on a series of typhoons, the earthquake in Central Visayas and the short-lived attack by the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) in Zamboanga City.

“The traffic has been affected by a series of calamities and the Zamboanga siege,” Porciuncula said, adding that the tourist cancellations in the Visayas also dampened international traffic.

For 2014, Porciuncula expects domestic and international traffic to return to their previous growth path, as foreign tourists rebook their cancelled flights.

Cebu Pacific remains the country’s leading domestic carrier, with 10.2 million passengers, up eight percent from 9.5 million in 2012. The Gokongwei-led budget carrier also enjoyed a 3.4 percent increase in international passengers at 2.82 million from 2.73 million the previous year.

“It is an exciting time for Cebu Pacific and the Philippine aviation industry as a whole. These results show that there is indeed room for growth in the industry and we look forward to working closely with the government on initiatives aimed at realizing the Philippines’ full tourism and trade potential,” Jorenz Tanada, spokesperson of Cebu Pacific said.

Philippine Airlines (PAL) flew 2.584 million passengers, down by 36 percent from 4.1 million in 2012. In August last year, PAL transferred almost all its domestic flights to PAL Express, except those for Cebu, Davao, and Kalibo.

The flag carrier’s international passenger traffic climbed five percent to 4.15 million from 3.95 million in 2012.

PAL Express flew 4.35 million domestic passengers, lower than the 4.44 million in 2012.  Likewise, its international passengers decreased by 36.2 percent to 115,959 last year from 181,844 in 2012.

Air Asia Inc, which stopped operations in Clark, recorded 157,327 domestic passengers in 2013, a 0.8 percent increase from 158,519 the previous year.

The local unit of the Malaysian airline carried 215,229 international passengers from 110,920 in 2012.

Air Asia Zest’s domestic passenger count fell by 3.5 percent to 1.99 million in 2013 from 2.06 million in 2012. To recall, the airline was suspended for four days by Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines due to safety concerns.

Air Asia Zest however enjoyed a 94 percent increase in international passengers to 617,188 last year from 324,237 passengers in 2012.

Tigerair Philippines recorded a 205.3 percent increase in the number of domestic passengers at 969,753  last year compared with 317,897 in 2012.

Tigerair Philippines’ international passenger count dropped by 5.1 percent to 270,344 last year from 284,959 international in 2012.

Foreign carriers reported a 0.32 percent drop in passengers to 9.13 million last year from 9.16 million in 2012.

Data from the Department of Tourism show that the foreign tourist arrivals rose by 9.56 percent to 4.68 million in 2013 from 4.27 million in 2012.

Source: Darwin G. Amojelar, InterAksyon.com 

http://www.interaksyon.com/business/81594/a-first-in-10-years–domestic-air-travel-contracts-as-calamities-take-toll-on-passenger-traffic

Yearender, A Seesaw for Philippine Aviation


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MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine aviation industry had its “ups and downs” in 2013 as local airlines, both full service and low cost carriers, eye and gear up for more long-haul destinations in 2014.

The year 2013 saw accidents involving several airlines resulting in the closure of international airports for days, several cancelled flights due to typhoons as well as congested airports, the suspension of the permit to fly of one airline, and the merger of two low cost carriers.

Aviation authorities in the Philippines also convinced the European Union to lift the ban that prevented local airlines from flying into the European airspace, paving the way for the launch of direct flights to London by national flag carrier Philippine Airlines (PAL) last Nov. 4.

Authorities also successfully negotiated with several countries new and expanded air service agreements (ASAs) allowing airlines to mount additional flights and servicing more passengers particularly overseas Filipino workers.

Accidents, flight delays and cancellations

Passengers had to deal with flight delays and cancellations this year due to the congested Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) as well as bad weather catapulted by Super Typhoon Yolanda that battered several provinces in the Visayas last Nov. 8 and several accidents involving airlines.

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An aircraft of budget airline Cebu Air (Cebu Pacific) of taipan John Gokongwei skidded off the runway of the Davao International Airport last June 2 resulting to the closure of the international gateway for several days. Another aircraft of the low cost carrier damaged several landing lights at the NAIA a few days after.

On the other hand, an aircraft of Tiger Airways Philippines stalled on the end of the runway last Aug. 26 resulting in the suspension of operations of the Kalibo International Airport that serves as one of the gateways to the Island of Boracay for several hours.

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Both Cebu Pacific and TigerAir got a slap on the wrist as the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) only suspended the pilots of both airlines.

However, the CAAP suspended the Airline Operator’s Certificate (AOC) of Zest Airways Inc. of former Ambassador Alfredo Yao resulting to the grounding of from Aug. 16 to Aug. 19 due to six aviation safety concerns in violation of the Philippine Civil Aviation Regulation (PCAR).

Consolidation, mergers, new partners

This paved the way for the consolidation in the industry after Zest Air decided to team up with AirAsia Philippines Inc. to form a new brand known as AirAsia Zest that is now operating at the congested NAIA after the partly Malaysian-owned airline ended its operations at the Clark International Airport in Pampanga.

AirAsiaX

ZestAir entered into a strategic alliance agreement with AirAsia Philippines last March 11. Under the agreement, AirAsia Philippines would acquire an 85 percent economic interest and 49 percent voting rights in ZestAir as well as a 100 percent interest in Yao’s Asiawide Airways Inc.

The transaction was consummated last May 10, wherein Yao’s ZestAir got $16 million as well as 13 percent interest in AirAsia Philippines. After the transaction, AirAsia Berhad of Malaysia now owns 40 percent of AirAsia Philippines while Filipino investors led by Romero, Yao, Marianne Hontiveros and Antonio “Tonyboy” Cojuangco Jr. control 60 percent.

All the shareholders of budget airline Zest Airways Inc. including AirAsia Inc. Philippines committed to infuse $100 million worth of investments to recover heavy losses and fund the merged airline’s working capital.

Michael Romero, chairman of AirAsia Zest, told The STAR that the rebranded airline is looking at a brighter 2014 after the successful tie up with ZestAir this year.

“2013 is a good year for AirAsia especially with its partnership with Ambassador Alfredo Yao that resulted to the birth of AirAsia Zest,” Romero said.

He added that the rebranded airline was able to mount new international destinations to Kuala Lumpur, Kota Kinabalu, Miri, Macau, Shanghai and Incheon and at the same time expand its hubs in Cebu and Kalibo.

PAL, jointly owned by taipan Lucio Tan and diversified conglomerate San Miguel Corp., is on the lookout for a new partner as it is in the middle of a fleet modernization program with an end view of acquiring 100 new aircraft.

SMC, which infused $500 million for a 49 percent stake in the national flag carrier, is looking for a new partner that would take up the 51 percent interest of the Tan Group who is also into banking, beverage, property development, among others.

PAL has so far inked a $10 billion contract with the EADS Group for the delivery of 65 new Airbus aircraft.

PAL was able to fly back to Europe via London last Nov. 4 after the EU agreed to lift the ban last July 12 as aviation authorities were able to comply with the safety standards of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) last February.

The application of Cebu Pacific to fly to European countries, on the other hand, would be reviewed by EU in March next year.

Gearing up for Europe, US

After successfully getting the ban lifted by the European Union, transportation and aviation authorities are confident that the ban imposed by the US Federal Aviation Administration (US-FAA) would be lifted early next year.

In 2008, the safety rating of the Philippines was downgraded by the US FAA upon the recommendation of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) to Category 2 from Category 1after CAAP failed to comply with safety standards for the oversight of air carrier operations.

Aside from Europe, Cebu Pacific president and chief executive officer Lance Gokongwei earlier said the listed budget airline is also gearing up for long-haul flights to the US as it pursues its $4 billion refleeting program.

Gokongwei said Cebu Pacific is looking at mounting flights to the US particularly Guam and Hawaii once the country’s status is upgraded by the US Federal Aviation Administration (US-FAA) back to Category 1.

“For the US, there have been some pronouncements that Philippines expects to get out of Category 2 in the fourth quarter. At that point, we will probably look at certain routes in the US including Guam and Hawaii,” Gokongwei stressed.

The Cebu Pacific chief pointed out that the airline is in the middle of a $4 billion refleeting program. Between 2013 and 2021, Cebu Pacific is scheduled to take delivery of 15 more brand-new Airbus A320, 30 A321neo, and four A330 aircraft.

Cebu Pacific was also able to service its 80 millionth passenger last November.

Both PAL and Cebu Pacific mounted flights to several countries in the Middle East including Dubai, Riyadh, Dammam, among others where several Filipinos are working and living.

Philippines is low cost carrier capital of the world

LCC
Image Source: Rappler.com

Earlier, Cebu Pacific general manager for long haul division Alex Reyes said the aviation industry in the Philippines could be likened to the capital intensive telecommunications sector.

“Just a few years ago, phones were considered luxury items, and very few people could afford to have them. Along came low-cost phones, and suddenly communication anywhere, anytime was in reach of every Juan. Text messages were so cheap that mobile phone subscribers preferred to text, rather than to call, because it was so cheap. At one point in time, the Philippines became the test messaging capital of the world,” Reyes explained.

Now, just like mobile phones which were once considered luxury items air travel is in reach of every “Juan” as low cost carriers (LCCs) are now dominating the aviation sector.

“Eight out of 10 seats on the domestic market are low-cost carrier seats. No other aviation market in the world has this kind of market share for LCCs. You can thus call the Philippines the LCC capital of the world,” he said.

Another low cost carrier, newly rebranded Tigerair, is also undertaking a massive re-fleeting program as it intends to beef up its existing fleet of five aircraft to 25 within the next three to five years.

TigerAir, a unit of Tiger Airlines, has an existing fleet of three Airbus A320s with a seating capacity of 180 and two A319s.

TigerAir president and chief executive officer Olive Ramos said the airline is excited about the prospects of the industry next year but stressed the need to promote the habit of travelling to Filipinos whether locally or internationally.

“I am very hopeful about next year. I am looking at a very exciting and vibrant year for the airline industry,” Ramos said.

More air agreements

 The Philippines through the Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) is looking at signing and expanding air service agreements (ASAs) with several countries next year after finalizing pacts with six countries this year.

The Philippines successfully concluded air talks with Israel, Japan, Italy, Macau, Brazil, and Australia this year.

President Aquino has signed Executive Order 29 authorizing the CAB and the Philippine air panels to pursue more aggressively the international civil aviation liberalization policy.

Volume of passengers travelling by air climbed 4.6 percent to 28.46 million in the first nine months of the year from 27.2 million in the same period last year. The number of domestic passengers was flat as it reached 15.42 million from January to September while the volume of international passengers posted a double-digit growth of 11.6 percent enough to 13.05 million.

CAB executive director Carmelo Arcilla said the regular would start the ball rolling early next year as the Philippines is scheduled to hold air talks with France and Singapore in the first quarter.

Source: After successfully getting the ban lifted by the European Union, transportation and aviation authorities are confident that the ban imposed by the US Federal Aviation Administration (US-FAA) would be lifted early next year.

In 2008, the safety rating of the Philippines was downgraded by the US FAA upon the recommendation of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) to Category 2 from Category 1after CAAP failed to comply with safety standards for the oversight of air carrier operations.

Aside from Europe, Cebu Pacific president and chief executive officer Lance Gokongwei earlier said the listed budget airline is also gearing up for long-haul flights to the US as it pursues its $4 billion refleeting program.

Gokongwei said Cebu Pacific is looking at mounting flights to the US particularly Guam and Hawaii once the country’s status is upgraded by the US Federal Aviation Administration (US-FAA) back to Category 1.

“For the US, there have been some pronouncements that Philippines expects to get out of Category 2 in the fourth quarter. At that point, we will probably look at certain routes in the US including Guam and Hawaii,” Gokongwei stressed.

The Cebu Pacific chief pointed out that the airline is in the middle of a $4 billion refleeting program. Between 2013 and 2021, Cebu Pacific is scheduled to take delivery of 15 more brand-new Airbus A320, 30 A321neo, and four A330 aircraft.

Cebu Pacific was also able to service its 80 millionth passenger last November.

Both PAL and Cebu Pacific mounted flights to several countries in the Middle East including Dubai, Riyadh, Dammam, among others where several Filipinos are working and living.

Phl is low cost carrier capital of the world

 Earlier, Cebu Pacific general manager for long haul division Alex Reyes said the aviation industry in the Philippines could be likened to the capital intensive telecommunications sector.

“Just a few years ago, phones were considered luxury items, and very few people could afford to have them. Along came low-cost phones, and suddenly communication anywhere, anytime was in reach of every Juan. Text messages were so cheap that mobile phone subscribers preferred to text, rather than to call, because it was so cheap. At one point in time, the Philippines became the test messaging capital of the world,” Reyes explained.

Now, just like mobile phones which were once considered luxury items air travel is in reach of every “Juan” as low cost carriers (LCCs) are now dominating the aviation sector.

“Eight out of 10 seats on the domestic market are low-cost carrier seats. No other aviation market in the world has this kind of market share for LCCs. You can thus call the Philippines the LCC capital of the world,” he said.

Another low cost carrier, newly rebranded Tigerair, is also undertaking a massive re-fleeting program as it intends to beef up its existing fleet of five aircraft to 25 within the next three to five years.

TigerAir, a unit of Tiger Airlines, has an existing fleet of three Airbus A320s with a seating capacity of 180 and two A319s.

TigerAir president and chief executive officer Olive Ramos said the airline is excited about the prospects of the industry next year but stressed the need to promote the habit of travelling to Filipinos whether locally or internationally.

“I am very hopeful about next year. I am looking at a very exciting and vibrant year for the airline industry,” Ramos said.

More air agreements

 The Philippines through the Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) is looking at signing and expanding air service agreements (ASAs) with several countries next year after finalizing pacts with six countries this year.

The Philippines successfully concluded air talks with Israel, Japan, Italy, Macau, Brazil, and Australia this year.

President Aquino has signed Executive Order 29 authorizing the CAB and the Philippine air panels to pursue more aggressively the international civil aviation liberalization policy.

Volume of passengers travelling by air climbed 4.6 percent to 28.46 million in the first nine months of the year from 27.2 million in the same period last year. The number of domestic passengers was flat as it reached 15.42 million from January to September while the volume of international passengers posted a double-digit growth of 11.6 percent enough to 13.05 million.

CAB executive director Carmelo Arcilla said the regular would start the ball rolling early next year as the Philippines is scheduled to hold air talks with France and Singapore in the first quarter.

Source:Lawrence Agcaoili, The Philippine Star

Philippine Airlines Boost Japan Connections


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THE liberal bilateral air service agreement hammered out between the Philippines and Japan in September is already bearing fruit, while travel consultants are hoping that the increased frequencies and competitive airfares will stimulate the market.

Under the terms of the pact, flight allowances have soared from 119 to 400 a week. These services will be mounted by route newcomers PAL Express, AirAsia Zest and Tigerair Philippines, in addition to Philippine Airlines (PAL) and Cebu Pacific Air (CEB), which already fly to Japan.

The agreement also clears flights from points outside Manila such as Clark, Cebu and Kalibo, to new destinations like Tokyo-Haneda, Hiroshima, Sapporo and Okinawa.

PAL commenced seven additional weekly Manila-Tokyo (Narita) flights on October 27, while CEB will add three weekly Manila-Osaka flights on December 20. The rest of the approved flights will begin in 1H2014.

Noting that it is “expensive to go to Japan”, Mita Custodio, operations manager of King of Travel, hopes the agreement will pave the way for more competitive fares, cheaper hotels and tour packages. A hotel in a less popular location can still cost US$180 a night.

While PAL currently dominates Manila-Japan routes, more airlines and more non-stop flights mean more travellers, he concluded.

Josie Santos, counter manager for Asia International Travel, added that the Manila-Tokyo/Osaka route is underserved.

An incentive group had to fly to Japan via Hong Kong as non-stop flights from Manila were not available, Santos shared.

Japan is the Philippines’ third largest source market for tourists.

Source: Rosa Ocampo, Manila

Philippine Carriers Uniform Parade


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Blue in. Taupe Out. New uniform of Philippine Airlines / PAL Express.

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Cebu Pacific shining through in yellow uniform.

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Air Asia Zest / Air Asia Philippines: stylish & simply beautiful.

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Air Asia Zest / Air Asia Philippines weekend uniform.

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SEAir’s light blue uniform.

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Tigerair Philippines, tail of the tiger as scarf.

Philippines has Highest Budget Airline Penetration in SE Asia


Source: Rappler.com

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MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine local domestic airline industry has the highest penetration rate of budget carriers in Southeast Asia, an aviation think tank said.

Budget or low-cost carriers (LCC) account for 67% of the total domestic market, according to the latest report of Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation (CAPA).

This is higher than the Philippines’ 60% local LCC penetration rate the aviation think tank had noted in 2012.

It cited the increased capacities and more destinations of local budget airline players Cebu Pacific, Zest Air, Tiger Airways Philippines and Philippines’ AirAsia.

INFOGRAPIC: How Philippine budget airlines change the game

READ: Budget airlines rule Philippine skies

Flying to and from local destinations is ideal in the Philippines, an archipelago of over 7,100 islands. Promotional fares help grow the market and encourage travelers who used to take buses or ferries to take the more convenient and faster air transport option.

READ: 6 rights you have as an airline passenger

Budget airlines in the Philippines and other markets have boosted the orders for fuel-efficient aircraft from global makers Boeing and Airbus, as well as dictated the airport infrastructure designs in various destinations.

International market

In the global market, the Philippines ranks 4th with a 29% international LCC penetration rate, CAPA added.

This marginally smaller global rate will increase significantly “as the Philippines-Japan market has just opened up to expansion from Philippine carriers, ending 5 years of restriction,” it added.

READ: Finally, Japan allows Philippines to increase direct flights

Overall, the Philippines’ system-wide LCC penetration rate stood at 51%, second to Indonesia’s.

Below are CAPA’s estimates of total — domestic and international — penetration rates of LCCs in the region:

  • Indonesia – 56%
  • Philippines – 51%
  • Malaysia – 50%
  • Singapore – 31%
  • Thailand – 30%
  • Vietnam – 24%
  • Myanmar – 16%
  • Brunei – 16%
  • Cambodia – 12%
  • Lao PDR – 5%

The aviation think tank said LCCs now account for over 50% of capacity in Southeast Asia’s 4 largest domestic markets: Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines and Thailand.

“Southeast Asia remains a dynamic and fast-growing market. Competition is as fierce as it has ever been and will only intensify as several new carriers, primarily LCCs, plan to enter the market over the next year. But overall the outlook for the Southeast Asian market is bright.”

Moreover, CAPA noted that LCCs have been able to rapidly claim about a 50% share in the intra-Southeast Asia international market.

Aircraft orders

CAPA said that LCCs will soon account for one-third of Southeast Asia’s fleet by early 2014.

Based on aircraft fleet growth, CAPA said the total Southeast Asia-based LCC will grow by about 20% in 2013, reaching nearly 500 aircraft by end of this year.

Cebu Pacific’s fleet at end-2012 stood at 41. This is seen to increase to 48 by end of this year. Gokongwei-led carrier’s fleet growth ranked 3rd among all Southeast Asian LCC.

“Southeast Asia continues to post some of the highest growth rates in the global aviation industry, driven primarily by expansion in the region’s booming low-cost sector,” said CAPA.

What about legacy carriers?

Bucking the trend, former budget carrier PAL Express, previously called Airphil Express and a unit of legacy carrier Philippine Airlines (PAL), transitioned to full-service carrier in early 2013.

PAL ranked 6th in terms of seat capacity, fleet size and home market share among full-service carriers or legacy airlines in the region.

CAPA said legacy carriers like PAL will continue to have an important role in the Southeast Asian market, both on long-haul routes and regionally.

The region’s flag carriers currently provide about 3 million weekly seats, giving them about 35% share of the market.

“Most of Southeast Asia’s flag carriers have been able to retain significant shares of their home market and remain profitable. On average they have also continued to grow faster than their counterparts in other regions,” CAPA noted.

“But there has also been growth in 2013 at nearly all of the region’s flag carriers. A large portion of this growth has been on regional routes as full-service operators have been able to join the LCCs in taking advantage of the generally favorable economic conditions in Southeast Asia,” it said. – Rappler.com

No AirAsia X Affiliate In Philippines For Now


Source: Adrian Schofield adrian.schofield@aviationweek.com, AWIN First

AAX

 

AirAsia’s Philippine affiliate is pressing for the group’s long-haul carrier AirAsia X to open a new hub near Manila, but it appears that no such move is on the horizon.

While discussing plans for Zest AirAsia—a joint venture in the Philippines—Chairman Michael Romero said that Zest is trying to convince AirAsia X to establish an affiliate of its own at Clark International Airport. Clark is about 50 mi. from the more central, and crowded, Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) in Manila.

However, a spokeswoman for Malaysia’s AirAsia X tells Aviation Week that the airline is not looking at the Philippines as a location for a new offshore base. AirAsia X is currently focused on setting up joint venture affiliates in Thailand and Indonesia, she adds.

AirAsia X’s long term strategy is to create joint ventures in locations where the AirAsia group’s short-haul carriers have already established themselves, so they can provide feed for the long-haul carrier.

However, AirAsia X CEO Azran Osman-Rani has previously stated that Thailand and Indonesia are the only AirAsia offshore affiliates that are mature enough to support a long-haul carrier. Thai authorities are processing the certification application for Thai AirAsia X, which is expected to launch in the first quarter 2014.

Another difficulty with an AirAsia X hub at Clark is that it would be separated from the short-haul operation at NAIA, where Zest is based. The smaller AirAsia Philippines until recently was based at Clark, but that airline is moving to NAIA to better align with Zest.

AirAsia Zest Mounts Manila-Macau Flights, Offers Seat Sale


Source:  Darwin G. Amojelar, InterAksyon.com

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MANILA – AirAsia Zest is launching Manila-Macau flights starting December 6, and is offering promotional fares for as low as P460 one way.

In a statement, the airline jointly owned by former ambassador Alfredo Yao and Philippines Air Asia Inc. said the flights would be held three times a week.

“The addition of Manila–Macau provides yet another opportunity for Filipinos to have access to a new and attractive destination as well for our OFWs to have the best travel options at affordable fares,” AirAsia Zest chief operating officer Joy Caneba said.

“They can also enjoy of our free seats promo for their Christmas and Holy Week break,” she said.

The free seats promo is a zero-fare promo wherein guests only pay for fuel surcharge, applicable taxes and fees.

To avail of the promo, customers need only register online at www.airasia.com. The tickets should be used between December 6, 2013 and April 14, 2014.

Macau will be the airline’s sixth regional route after Miri, Malaysia.

The newly rebranded airline earlier announced that it will launch direct flights from Manila to Malaysia’s second biggest city, and from Mactan Cebu International Airport to Kuala Lumpur on December 1.

Flights from Cebu to Davao, Cagayan de Oro and Puerto Princesa will commence on November 15.

AirAsia Zest operates a fleet of 13 aircraft and serves nine domestic and four international routes from the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).

Last May, the Philippine unit of Malaysia’s AirAsia acquired a 49 percent stake in Zest Airways Inc. With the buy-in, Zest Air has since been rebranded as AirAsia Zest.