The Philippine Star

AirAsia keen on Bei­jing route

- Rich­mond Mer­cu­rio AirAsia timeline · Beijing · AirAsia Philippines · Philippines · China · Beijing Capital International Airport · Daxing District

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. –

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