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Airbus sees Manila among aviation mega-cities by 2021

Cebu Pacific is among Philippine carriers using Airbus planes  

TOULOUSE, France – Leading aircraft maker Airbus sees Manila, along with seven other cities, joining the list of aviation mega-cities worldwide by 2021.

Airbus media relations manager for Southeast Asia and Japan Alizee Genilloud said Manila is expected to be among cities that would host at least 10,000 long-haul passengers starting 2021.

 Genilloud said the other cities on the list, based on the Airbus Global Market Forecast, include Taipei, Jakarta, Auckland, Brisbane, Perth, Guangzhou and Denpasar Bali.

 That would bring the number of aviation mega-cities to 67 hosting about 95 percent of long-haul traffic by 2021.

 She added that five more cities from the Asia Pacific region are expected to join the list by 2031. These cities include Ho Chi Minh City, Colombo, Dhaka, Phuket and Bengaluru.

 “So between now and 2031, there will be 13 more aviation mega-cities in the Asia Pacific region,” she stressed.

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 In all, Genilloud said there would be 92 aviation mega-cities around the world by 2031.

 Airbus sees a total three billion passengers this year as people would increasingly want to travel by air.

 In the Philippines alone, latest data from the Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) showed that air traffic inched up 1.1 percent to 9.576 million passengers in the first quarter from a year-ago level of 9.47 million.

The number of domestic passengers retreated 2.1 percent to 5.062 million in the first quarter from 5.17 million last year while the volume of international passengers grew 4.97 percent to 4.514 million from 4.47 million.

 Airbus, an EADS company, considers the Philippines as one of its major markets in the Asia Pacific region where it has a 90 percent share.

 Sean Lee, communications director for Asia of Airbus, said the Philippines is one of the most important market of the aircraft maker in the Asia Pacific region having booked an order of about 173 aircraft.

 “The Philippines is our most important market in Asia Pacific. We have a market share of about 90 percent in the Philippines,” Lee said.

 Data showed that Airbus has booked 173 aircraft from airlines operating in the Philippines of which more than a third has been delivered.

 Flag carrier Philippine Airlines (PAL), jointly owned by taipan Lucio Tan and diversified conglomerate San Miguel Corp. (SMC), has ordered over 100 aircraft consisting of 44 Airbus A321s, 28 A330-300s, 15 A320s, eight A340s, five A300s, and four A319s.

 For its part, budget airline Cebu Air Inc. (Cebu Pacific) of tycoon John L. Gokongwei Jr. booked an order for 71 Airbus aircraft comprising of 31 A320s, 30 A321s, and 10 A319s.

Other airlines that use Airbus aircraft include PAL’s low cost carrier PAL Express with 10 A320s; Zest Airways – jointly owned by Philippines AirAsia and Amb. Alfredo Yao – with 10 A320s; Southeast Asian Airlines (Seair) with two A320s; and Zest Air’s Asiawide with two A320s.

 Of the total number of aircraft orders, Lee pointed out that Airbus has pending delivery of about 111 to local airlines in the Philippines.

Data showed that Airbus has a total of 12,800 orders worldwide since it was founded in 1970 of which about 7,800 aircraft were already delivered. For 2012 alone, Airbus delivered 588 aircraft of the total 833 orders.

 For this year, Airbus expects to deliver over 600 aircraft of which 24 percent would go to the Asia Pacific region including the Philippines followed by China with 13 percent, Europe with 14 percent, North America with nine percent, Latin America with seven percent, and Middle East with two percent.

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