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AirAsia says PHL operations to remain below pre-pandemic levels

Budget carrier AirAsia expects domestic operations in the Philippines to be below 25% of pre-pandemic levels until at least September while the population awaits widespread vaccination against the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). 

The airline company posted an 87% revenue decline to RM298 million (P3.4 billion) in the first quarter compared to the same period last year, AirAsia Group Berhad said in a press release on Thursday. 

Month-on-month operations in the Philippines has improved with a 57% increase in passengers in March, although this was lower than the 85% increase seen by AirAsia Malaysia. 

AirAsia said that it is aiming to raise RM 1 billion (P11.57 billion) under a Danajamin financing scheme in Malaysia, and to raise new capital in both Indonesia and the Philippines. 

The airline added that it expects COVID-19 vaccine rollout in most of the markets it operates in. 

“This is expected to deliver a huge boost for air travel demand for our key ASEAN markets, on top of strong pent-up demand. We are also keenly exploring opportunities to gain market share, particularly in Indonesia and the Philippines,” the company said. 

“Once borders are lifted, our robust business model provides confidence for a fast and strong recovery in our overall performance given our low-cost model and dominant positioning in ASEAN.”  

Philippines AirAsia, Inc. recently said that it is eyeing travel incentives for fully vaccinated individuals to help stir up demand. — Jenina P. Ibañez  

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