AirAsia Zest Pushes Transformation of Terminal 4 into New Budget Terminal

Low-cost carrier AirAsia Zest is lobbying the Philippine government to construct a new low-cost carrier terminal at the old Manila domestic airport, currently known as Terminal 4. According to AirAsia Zest CEO Joy Caneba, the construction of a budget carrier hub would reduce the cost of air travel in the country.

naia budget carrier terminal
Copyright Photo: Angelo Agcamaran/PPSG
"We are encouraging the government to establish a low-cost carrier airport to make it more efficient," said Caneba. "It could effectively minimize the cost of operations, making it more efficient for airlines." She added that a budget air terminal could translate to higher yields in terms of passenger traffic, citing that the lower costs of flights would enable more people to travel. 

AirAsia Zest is not the first to consider the construction of a low-cost carrier terminal at Ninoy Aquino International Airport. The Department of Transportation and Communications recently revealed that it was planning to construct "Terminal 5" beside the existing Terminal 3 that would serve as a dedicated terminal exclusively for the use of low-cost carriers. Although the government is committed to pursuing the development of Terminal 5, details have yet to be determined. 

Meanwhile, Caneba advocated that the government should conduct a bidding for the development of a new low-cost carrier terminal at the old domestic airport. She added that should the government decide to pursue this option, AirAsia Zest would participate in the bidding process. 

"AirAsia Zest is willing to provide the design and expertise for the construction of a low-cost carrier airport," Caneba said. "The airport operator will be able to recoup the investment in terms of retail." She added that the construction of a low-cost carrier hub would take less than three years to finish, especially since a terminal building already exists at Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 4. 

NAIA Terminal 4 currently serves flights operated by Tigerair Philippines, SkyJet Airlines, AirAsia Zest, and AirAsia Philippines. AirAsia Zest's parent company, Malaysia-based AirAsia Berhad, recently moved into a brand new low-cost carrier terminal at Kuala Lumpur International Airport that can accommodate up to 45 million passengers annually and handle up to 100 aircraft per hour. 


  1. Actually, what should be done is to convert Terminal 1 into a domestic/low budget terminal and move all international flights to Terminal 3 - that is if the twits in the government can ever get Terminal 3 up and running properly.
    There are still a lot of unanswered questions about Terminal 3 that require a thorough, independent investigation:
    a- why did the terminal cost the outrageous sum of US$1 billion 15 years ago when Singapore is building a net terminal for $750 million at today's prices???
    b- why was Terminal 3 allowed to deteriorate?
    c- why was Terminal 3 not used for years and years?
    d- how can the government reimburse the people for the money wasted on Terminal 3?????
    It's time the people demand answers and compensation for the government's abuse of their tax money!

    1. The original plan was for Terminal 2 to be a domestic terminal and for Terminal 3 to be the international terminal. What happened to that?

      Well, at least they're trying to improve Terminal 3 now.

  2. @anonymous the terminal was not 1 billion USD. it was way lower than that but since it was moth balled for more than 10 years plus an arbitration case they need to factor in inflation plus interest rates in order to compensate fraport, takenaka and piatco.

    B. If a certain building has pending case obviously you cannot operate it.

    C. Tons of court case local and internationally which are all settled already.

    D. Reimburse? you gotta be kidding me.. maybe operate it at full capacity and make sure its used for the right purpose not a budget carrier terminal.


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