AirAsia expands cargo business


As commercial flights have been limited due to the potential spread of Covid-19’s Delta variant, budget carrier AirAsia is strengthening its cargo business with its expansion in Mindanao.

Ricardo Isla, president of Airasia Philippines, said the group has started operating Teleport, the cargo unit of Airasia, in General Santos, and will soon start commercial operations in Zamboanga.

“Our cargo business is approximately 10 percent of our total top line. There are a lot of good opportunities to expand that,” he said in a virtual press briefing on Wednesday.

Teleport operations, Isla noted, involves not only the delivery of goods via plane. It also involves investments in facilities and machineries that help the company serve the needs of its clients.

“It includes warehousing, machines for X-rays, logistics operations, and manpower on ground. We’re learning from all our previous destinations like Cebu, Davao, Palawan, CDO. We would like to duplicate that into our newly-opened Teleport General Santos, and soon-to-open Zamboanga,” he added.

Teleport Zamboanga will open within the month.

“We’re boosting our Teleport cargo business because we need to continue our progress with regards to transfer of goods to the city,” Isla said.

The budget carrier is reducing its flight operations by “almost 40 percent” in the next two weeks due to the impending imposition of the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) in the National Capital Region (NCR) and its adjacent provinces.

“We’re looking forward that in August we can overcome and come September we will have a better result,” Isla said.

Isla noted that confidence in air travel continues to rise, especially since airline personnel are now being inoculated.

Citing a recent survey that the budget carrier conducted, Isla said 91.4 percent of passengers are confident in flying with a “fully-vaccinated crew.”

For Airasia, about 70 percent of its 1,500-strong crew have been vaccinated for Covid-19.

“We are very pleased that our efforts of inoculating the whole AirAsia Philippines organization have given guests the confidence to travel again. Also, the survey results on the number of inoculated guests are very encouraging. Meaning everyone is keen on taking the shot. Soon, we expect to mount a fully vaccinated flight composed of crew and guests who have been fully vaccinated,” Airasia Philippines Spokesperson Steve Dailisan said.

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