Air Asia Zest Transferring More International Flights to Terminal 3

Following the recent completion of the revitalization program at Ninoy Aquino International Airport's Terminal 3, AirAsia Zest has announced that it will be transferring more of its international flights from the highly congested Terminal 4 to the modern Terminal 3.
Copyright Photo: Diego Roxas/PPSG
According to AirAsia Zest, flights operating from Manila to Kota Kinabalu, Macau, and Seoul Incheon will begin flying out of Terminal 3 effective September 15, 2014. The changes apply to the following flights:

  • Z2501: Manila to Kota Kinabalu 
  • Z2502: Kota Kinabalu to Manila 
  • Z2088: Manila to Macau 
  • Z2089: Macau to Manila 
  • Z2084: Manila to Seoul Incheon 
  • Z2085: Seoul Incheon to Manila 
However, international flights to Kuala Lumpur and Shanghai will continue to be operated from NAIA Terminal 4. Earlier this year, AirAsia Group's Chief Executive Officer Tony Fernandes accused the Manila International Airport Authority of unfair treatment over being charged the same fees to operate from the older and congested Terminal 4, compared to the modern and spacious Terminal 3.

"It is just not right. AirAsia and my Filipino partners have invested a fortune, and we are creating lots of jobs. Really, we are being treated third class," said Fernandes. "I feel very bad for my staff. I don't mind operating in Terminal 4, but then charge us appropriately." Fernandes illustrated his point by comparing Terminal 4 to his budget hotel chain, Tune Hotels, while Terminal 3 was compared to Shangri-La. "If I'm in a Shangri-La Hotel, I pay Shangri-La Hotel rates. If I'm in Tune Hotel, I pay Tune Hotel rates. Terminal 4 is a Tune Hotel," added Fernandes.

AirAsia has expressed the desire to transfer more of its international operations to Terminal 4. However, the Manila International Airport Authority has not been able to accommodate them. This has hampered the further expansion of AirAsia to more international destinations from Manila. The carrier has said that the operating environment in the Philippines continues to be challenging, although it expects improved performance in the remainder of the year.

Meanwhile, AirAsia Zest may be mounting new flights from Manila to Myanmar after the carrier was recently granted 1,260 seats to Yangon by the Civil Aeronautics Board. According to Joy Caneba, CEO of AirAsia Zest, the carrier is still evaluating when to begin mounting flights.

"Myanmar will be an alternative destination to Filipino tourists and the Myanmar's government decision to extend visa free privileges to Filipinos last year is welcome support," said Caneba. The news follows the establishment of a new air service agreement between the two countries that provides carriers up to 3,780 weekly seats between Manila and Myanmar, in addition to unlimited traffic rights to Myanmar from points outside of Manila.

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