Air Asia Plans Kalibo Hub, Major Expansion To 320 Weekly Flights in July

A letter from the President & CEO of Air Asia Philippines, Marianne Hontiveros, to Aklan Governor Florencio Mireflores, has confirmed that Air Asia intends to develop Kalibo International Airport into a major secondary hub with up to 320 weekly flights to come as early as July.

air asia zest kalibo
Copyright Photo: Angelo Agcamaran/PPSG
In a letter that was shared by the Aklan Province social media team and Kalibo International Airport on Facebook, Air Asia revealed that it is planning a major expansion into China as well as an increase of its existing domestic flights. The airline would also like to construct its own hangar and parking facilities adjacent to the Kalibo airport complex. 

Air Asia presently flies seven times daily between Kalibo and Manila. It also flies several international routes from Kalibo to Incheon, Pusan, Beijing, and Shanghai. The airline recently announced that it would also be introducing direct service from Kuala Lumpur and Taipei to Kalibo. 

In order to support the expansion of international flights to Korea, China, Taiwan, and Malaysia, Air Asia will be basing crews and aircraft in Kalibo. When the expansion begins, Air Asia plans to increase domestic flights to thirteen per day between Manila and Kalibo. In addition, the airline plans several new routes to China by June 25 including service to Wenzhou, Guangzhou, Chengdu, Ningbo, Changsha, Xiamen, and Hangzhou. 

Additional flights to the existing destinations of Incheon, Pusan, and Shanghai will also be operated in July bringing the total number of weekly Air Asia flights from Kalibo to 320 in July 2014. However, the ability to implement the expansion is highly dependent on the expansion of Kalibo International Airport. Air Asia will need to base at least two aircraft in Kalibo before the last week of June. According to AirAsia's CEO, the lack of adequate parking bays at Kalibo has resulted in delays for passengers. 

Image Source: Kalibo International Airport Facebook
Air Asia is requesting the reassurance of Governor Mireflores that there will be no delays in the expansion of Kalibo International Airport especially three additional parking bays that must be ready in time for June 25 when Air Asia plans to begin its expansion. In addition, the airline is seeking permission to construct its own hangar and parking facilities adjacent to the airport complex. 

Air Asia's expansion efforts in the Philippines has been hampered on a regular basis by slot limitations and air traffic congestion at Ninoy Aquino International Airport that has severely impacted on time performance. The delays have led to frustrated passengers and AirAsia Zest topping the charts with the highest number of complaints filed at the Civil Aeronautics Board in the first quarter.

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