Posted on: 24 March 2011 by Ross McSweeny
AirAsia Incorporated, the Philippine-based affiliate of AirAsia Group, has chosen Clark’s Diosdado Macapagal International Airport as its hub in the country, from where it plans to start international flights in the fourth quarter of 2011.
“Our choice of Clark underlines the airline’s commitment to developing transportation and tourism hubs outside Manila,” explained Marianne Hontiveros, chief executive of AirAsia, Inc. “This is part of our plan to contribute to the development of the country as a whole. AirAsia, Inc. is excited to start contributing to the economy of Clark and the rest of the country by boosting tourism and offering job opportunities to Filipinos.”
Clark is located just north of Manila and is easily accessible to 23 million people from the National Capital Region and Central and Northern Luzon. It is also the airport to where the airline’s sister company, Malaysia-based AirAsia Berhad, has been flying from Kuala Lumpur and Kota Kinabalu since 2005.
“We plan to make Clark the hub for flights to popular destinations including Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan, China, Thailand, Korea and Japan. Travel will become much easier and more affordable for tourists and overseas Filipino workers,” Hontiveros added.
Hontiveros, Antonio Cojuangco Jr. and Michael Romero own 60% of AirAsia, Inc. in equal partnership. The remaining 40% is owned by AirAsia Berhad.
With the announcement, Clark will become the 13th regional hub of the ASEAN-based AirAsia Group, which currently includes AirAsia, Inc., AirAsia Berhad, AirAsia Thailand and AirAsia Indonesia. The group’s 12 current hubs are Kuala Lumpur, Kota Kinabalu, Kuching and Penang in Malaysia; Bangkok, Phuket and Chiang Mai in Thailand; and Jakarta, Bandung, Surabaya, Medan and Bali in Indonesia.
Photo shows AirAsia Group CEO Tony Fernandes (centre) and Deputy Group CEO Kamarudin Meranun (left) paying a courtesy call to the president of the Philippines, HE Benigno Simeon Aquino III (right) in Malacañan Palace.