Philippines Seen as AirAsia’s Biggest Market

Malaysia-based AirAsia projects over a million passengers by 2012 from its future hub operations in the Philippines, an official said.

Further by 2020, AirAsia hopes to put up a hub in all of the 10 member-countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean), said the budget airline’s regional head for corporate quality, Zahman Ahmad.

“There are 92 million people in the Philippines. In the future, we see the Philippines as the biggest market,” Ahmad said.

“We already have aspirations to bring as many as four aircrafts by 2012,” he added.

And with a 180-seater aircraft flying six times a day, Ahmad said the number of passengers flying from Clark could reach over a million.

At present, AirAsia has commercial flights from its three hubs in Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia.

Wanting to put up a fourth hub in the Philippines, it forged a partnership this year with three Filipino businessmen – Antonio “Tonyboy” Cojuangco Jr., Michael Romero and Marianne Hontoveros. It will soon start its operations at the Diosdado Macapagal International Airport in Clark Freeport, Pampanga, which will base of operations in the country.

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