AirAsia sees 'immediate spike' in bookings after easing of Metro Manila virus restrictions

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 20 2020 10:14 AM

AIirAsia airplane for file. Photo: AirAsia

MANILA - Domestic flight bookings "spiked" after the government announced the easing of coronavirus restrictions in Metro Manila starting Aug. 19, AirAsia said Thursday. 

AirAsia now mounts 200 to 250 flights a week, still lowered compared to its 1,400 pre-pandemic levels but it has been improving, said AirAsia Philippines CEO Ricky Isla. 

Isla said they have "practically opened" all domestic routes and 2 international destinations. 

"The people were excited that upon the announcement of lifting of MECQ in Manila there was an immediate spike in our seat sale, specifically on the immediate dates," Isla said. 

Flights have about 50 to 60 load capacity which is a "good indication" of recovery, he said. 

Isla assured passengers that all its aircrafts have HEPA filters that clear the air of bacteria and viruses every 2 minutes. Global planemaker Airbus also earlier said the risk of COVID-19 transmission in aircraft is "very low." 

AirAsia said with the MECQ lifted, the third quarter would be an "improvement" compared to the previous quarter. The aviation industry will attract more passengers during the peak season in December, Isla said. 

Strict government and aviation health protocols are being imposed to ensure safety of flight crew and passengers, AirAsia said.