MANILA, 6 January 2022: AirAsia Philippines expanded its domestic market share to19% in 2021, climbing 3.5 notches up from its 15.5% share in 2019.
The low-cost airline has also peaked at 95% load factor over the course of the recent holiday period while ending December at 88% – both record-high figures over the past 1.5 years.
In December, AirAsia Philippines ranked third most popular airline in terms of flight bookings among AirAsia territories, following Malaysia and Thailand.
The past year came with its own set of challenges – from new Covid-19 variants to stricter travel restrictions. However, the airline showed resilience throughout the year through strategic mitigation strategies that included new revenue streams, budget management and diversification of offerings. The airline mounted 619 charter repatriation flights and reunited 50,000 people with their families and loved ones. This has helped defray upkeep costs to ensure the viability of the company.
AirAsia also observed that domestic travel is gaining stronger momentum during the last quarter of 2021, primarily because of the low positive infection rate and daily case count. In the first half of the year, the majority of airline bookings were done within three days, mainly for essential travel. But recently, the airline has witnessed a significant increase in bookings for travel 1 to 3 months in advance – a telltale sign of growth in leisure travel and more substantial consumer confidence. AirAsia Philippines also recorded a 15 to 20% increase in bookings for near-term travel within 30 to 60 days over recent times.
AirAsia has also resumed its flight operations to Hong Kong, Singapore and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, servicing Overseas Filipino Workers and business travellers in these countries.
A Look at 2022
There is strong pent-up demand for travel, and Filipinos are ready to get back in the air. And compared to the previous two years, all stakeholders – airlines, government units and customers – are now much more conscious of the critical strategies and measures needed to properly approach travelling amid the pandemic. The country is now better equipped to face new variants and potential surges.
AirAsia is also closely monitoring the impact of the Covid-19 Omicron variant and has adopted three specific priorities.
They focus on:
Cash availability and management to support recovery strategies; Sustainable cost management and rationalisation to operate commercial flights and staff-related costs, marketing and other operating costs; Expansion of the domestic network from 14 destinations (2021) to 18 (2022) and to grow regional routes by exploring opportunities in the Middle East, United States and Australia.