AirAsia supports the united efforts of local airlines alongside the Air Carriers Association of the Philippines (ACAP) in seeking government aid for the airline industry.
The ACAP, which includes AirAsia Philippines, Cebu Pacific, Philippine Airlines and their affiliates, recently discussed with senators the financial support requirements for the aviation sector to operate sustainably once the community quarantine period is lifted.
AirAsia Philippines CEO Ricky Isla, who currently sits as Chairman of ACAP, said, “Airlines are typically one of the first key indicators of a recovery post any downturn in travel or crisis. These are unprecedented and extraordinary times. Our local tourism and hospitality sectors are in much need of support. Governments around the world are already recognizing the importance of these sectors and providing a much needed lifeline to assist the air travel industry, which in turn provides a welcome boost to stimulate the economy.”
The association of airlines further clarified that support being asked for is in the form of government loans, credit lines and guarantees on debt rather than direct cash subsidies.
ACAP Executive Director and Vice Chairperson Roberto Lim said, “The government is in the position to bring confidence to banks and businesses to lend support to airlines. We ask the government to intervene now rather than later to jumpstart air travel.
“We support the government in ensuring cash subsidies are allocated to sectors that need it the most. What airlines require are credit guarantees and loans, which will be repaid. Airlines will need time and forbearance to once again generate revenue,” Lim added.
Furthermore, AirAsia reiterates its support for ACAP’s other important proposals provided to the government to boost the airline and travel industry.
These include the waiver of airport fees for at least a year without interest or penalties; issuance of travel vouchers in lieu of refunds for cancelled flights; and the centralization of government guidelines for the aviation sector that include local governments.
For its part, AirAsia has rolled out a number of enhanced safety procedures to ensure the health and wellbeing of guests and staff amidst the pandemic. These include contactless transactions via self check-in kiosks at airports, physical distancing at check-in and boarding queues, mandatory temperature scanning, and mandatory use of face masks.
Protective equipment will be provided for ground and cabin crew and every flight will be equipped with antibacterial sanitizers compliant with the Bureau of Quarantine (BOQ).
All AirAsia aircraft, which are fitted with hospital-standard High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filters, will also be sent for a thorough disinfection after each flight with the use of disinfectant approved by the BOQ and the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines.
AirAsia is complying with advice and regulations from the local government, civil aviation authorities, global and local health agencies, including the World Health Organization.
The airline supports ACAP as it actively engages government agencies in developing necessary measures to ensure that the health of the public is protected ahead of a safe and smooth resumption of flights by June 1 subject to regulatory approvals.