AirAsia seeks to double passenger traffic

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AirAsia Zest is aiming to more than double its daily passenger traffic this year.

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“We have 7,000 daily passengers. We’re looking at increasing it to about 15,000, so in effect more than doubling the capacity,” chief executive officer of AirAsia Zest Joy Caneba told reporters.

The carrier said that for 2014 it is expecting its passenger capacity to reach 5.47 million. AirAsia said growth would be generated from its international flights.

“My strategy is to bring more inbound traffic, so more international [driver of the passenger growth],” Caneba said.

In 2013, Philippines AirAsia acquired Zest Airways Inc. through a strategic alliance, a partnership that paved the way for both airlines to operate on a much larger scale to and from Ninoy Aquino International Airport, the Philippines’ major international gateway.

With the alliance, Zest Airways successfully launched its new corporate name and fully rebranded into AirAsia Zest, offering Filipinos more choices, better value and enhanced services across a combined larger network.

AirAsia Zest has become a stronger player in the Philippines, operating a fleet of 16 aircraft and servicing domestic destinations of Kalibo (Boracay), Puerto Princesa (Palawan), Tagbilaran (Bohol), Cebu and Tacloban in the Philippines with international points in Asia, China and Korea.

The carrier also said that it is applying for reallocation of flights to Bangkok in Thailand.

The carrier noted that “it was AirAsia Philippines that was asking for air talks with Thailand, but AirAsia Philippines was not given any rights for that so we’re asking for reallocations of those flights.”

The carrier filed an application with the Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) for possible frequency allocation for the Myanmar route.

“Yes we are, we will be applying for [frequency in Myanmar]. I think Myanmar is a good market for both outbound and inbound travel but more positive on outbound,” Caneba said.

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