The Philippine Star
AirAsia keen on Beijing route
Low cost carrier AirAsia Philippines is hoping to secure a slot in an international airport in Beijing next year as it remains keen on opening a service connecting the country to the Chinese capital.
AirAsia Philippines will be unable to launch this year its planned Beijing route which was supposed to bolster the carrier’s expansive China network due to slot availability.
“Beijing airport is quite full already even with the new airport,” AirAsia Philippines chairman of the board Jomar Castillo said.
Beijing Daxing International Airport, Beijing’s second international airport, was opened last month.
“Initially we’ve had discussions with the help of our embassy in Beijing to get into an agreement with the Beijing airport. You probably know that the Beijing airport is open but we understand at this point the slots are still full. That was the update to us two months ago,” Castillo said.
Castillo, however, said the budget carrier remains very interested in having a Beijing route.
“We’re re-engaging them. We’re looking at next year, depends on the freedom of slots,” he said.
AirAsia Philippines was earlier targeting to launch a direct service to Beijing by the fourth quarter, seeing China’s capital as a major destination.
The budget carrier sees China as a whole as an important market for leisure and tourism, with direct flights seen providing ease and comfort for Chinese tourists while giving the local tourism industry a necessary boost. –