Clark Fails AirAsia

Relocates to Manila

19 September 2013

Clark Airport doesn't work. At least for Air Asia Philippines(PQ) which learned it the hard way after operating barely two years at Clark despite backings from Air Asia Berhad, Asia's biggest low cost carrier.

Air Asia will suspend all flights out of Clark effective 8 October said airline CEO Marianne Hontiveros last week.

Hontiveros disclosed the airline's scaling back operations was necessary because the company was reassessing its strategy and needs to cut unprofitable routes.

To survive competition it bought Zest Airways to gain access at Manila's Ninoy Aquino International Airport valuable airport slots where it is diverting financial and manpower resources to support its affiliate's operation.

Despite this setback the Transportation Department (DOTC) remains keen on putting up a new budget terminal for Clark International Airport in Pampanga as it implements the dual airport system strategy.

Transport Secretary Joseph Abaya said the government was keen on supporting both Ninoy Aquino International Airport and Clark with the addition of new terminals catering to the fast-growing budget airline segment.

DOTC will build budget terminals for Clark and NAIA which could be built over the next two to three years.

The budget terminal for Clark would expand its capacity by about 4.5 million passengers while NAIA capacity will accommodate about 10 million passengers more from the present 25 million passengers per annum.

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