AirAsia PH eyes more airport slots

By The Manila Times
September 14, 2023

AIRASIA Philippines on Wednesday said that is eyeing additional airport slots to increase flights to the Visayas and Mindanao.

“Additional slots will allow AirAsia to flourish in [the] Visayas and Mindanao, especially since we also plan to grow our domestic market by 20 percent in 2024,” Steve Dailisan, communications and public affairs head, said.

An airport slot is a permit issued to airlines to use takeoff and landing facilities at an airport.

“This will also allow AirAsia to revive flights to Zamboanga, Dumaguete, General Santos City and expand frequency in Cagayan de Oro, which is also a gateway to Northern Mindanao,” Dailisan added.

“This, in turn, will give AirAsia the upper hand to continue to provide the best value airfares and best travel deals as we continue to democratize air travel for everyone.”

The airline’s statement followed a legislator’s call to boost connectivity to Visayas and Mindanao through the provision of more slots to local carriers.

During a recent Department of Transportation budget briefing, Sen. Juan Miguel Zubiri said that unutilized slots should be given to airlines that can operate immediately to provide more flights for Filipinos.

“AirAsia is buying more planes, and their problem is that they cannot use the planes because they have no slots,” he noted.

Transport Secretary Jaime Bautista explained that the unutilized slots were the result of flight reductions during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic.