Filipinos' travel lust demands hundreds of new planes: Airbus

Jamaine Punzalan, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 27 2019 07:04 AM | Updated as of Nov 27 2019 07:05 AM

AirAsia's A321neo plane takes off in this undated photo. Airbus/Handout

HAMBURG -- Filipino carriers need to add hundreds of new aircraft to their fleets to satisfy travel demand in the Philippines, one of the world's fastest-growing markets for aviation, said plane-maker Airbus.

The Philippines needs 200 new jets to expand domestic and international travel and the need can triple to as many as 600 in the next 20 years, said Aymeric Dupront, Airbus marketing head for Southeast Asia.

"As of now, only a small part of this number is actually secured in orders," he told reporters.

Airbus last week delivered its first of 353 ordered A321neo to the region's largest budget carrier, AirAsia. AirAsia Philippines said it was "concretizing plans" to order the same type of jet.

The Philippines' largest airline, Cebu Pacific, said on Nov. 4 that it finalized an order of 16 Airbus A330neo worth $4.8 billion (P242.4 billion), as it retools its fleet to more fuel-efficient aircraft.

AirAsia Philippines, which has 24 A320s, "plans to double its fleet to 50 in 3 to 4 years' time", said its CEO, Ricardo Isla. A $350 million investment in 7 planes is "in the pipeline," he said.

Philippine Airlines in September received the first of 15 A321neo jets.
 
Eight assembly lines are committed to delivering the backlog on A321neo orders, including an automated facility in Hamburg, Dupront said.

The tourism department targets 8.3 million tourist arrivals this year, it said.