Philippines AirAsia (PAA) will grow its fleet strongly over the next 10 years and build up its hub at Clark.
Chief executive Dexter Comendador tells FlightGlobal that PAA will operate 22 Airbus A320s by end of 2018, and add five new aircraft annually between 2019 and 2028. Flight Fleets Analyzer shows that PAA now operates 20 A320s.
Should the plan proceed as planned, the airline will have a fleet of around 70 jets by 2028.
The chief executive however notes that the airports in the Philippines, such as those in Manila, Cebu and Kalibo are slot-constrained, and that PAA is hence looking at building up Clark for its growth.
"I chose to go to Clark because I have room for my 50 [new] planes. Definitely in Manila, I cannot place my 50 planes. Manila is too full," says Comendador.
"Moving forward, Clark will be established as the LCC hub of the Philippines. With the development of Clark, we hope to do something like what [Thai AirAsia executive chairman] Tassapon Bijleveld did with Bangkok Don Mueang airport."
He adds: "The challenge is for the infrastructure to be able to cope with the order of planes that will be coming in. Cebu Pacific ordered planes, so did Philippine Airlines, [which will be delivered] within the next 5 years. That will be a lot of planes coming into the Philippines."
He also does not rule out PAA taking some of the 100 A321neos that AirAsia Group has on order. This is especially since the airline may need to upgauge its flights due to slot constraints at the airports.