Airline executives speaking in a panel discussion at the Routes Asia Strategy Summit have highlighted Infrastructure constraints as one of the largest headaches for carriers in Asia.

“There is a certain mismatch between the timeline of infrastructure development and the growth rate of airline sector in particular,” says Hong Kong Express chief executive Andrew Cowen.

“What we’re seeing and understanding is that LCCs in general are creating a lot of new demand that is not really picked up in linear forecast models.”

Echoing Cowen's comments, Alexander Lao, vice president of commercial planning at Cebu Pacific Air, adds that there is a need for “predictability” on the timeline of infrastructure projects. He pointed to the need for a second airport in Manila, and more importantly, for operators to get a clear sense of when the project will be operational.

Andrew Herdman, director general of the Association of Asia Pacific Airlines says countries in the region needs to coordinate infrastructure growth, with the understanding that the industry will double in the next 15 years.

“This isn’t a linear game, this is a compounding effect… so this doubling period, don’t think linear, what I need for the next year, it takes longer than that to build infrastructure. You need to plan for a sizable effect, not incremental growth.”

At the same summit, the Philippines' transport ministry said that a feasibility study on a second airport in Manila is ongoing, and that the target is for the airport to be operational in the next 10-15 years. Manila's Ninoy Aquino International airport is facing massive slots constraints, with passenger numbers already exceeding its design capacity of 31 million.

Source: Cirium Dashboard