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MEDIA RELEASE

8 March 2016

PH poised for rapid growth in Asia Pacific aviation industry


The Philippines is up to meet the challenge of a rapidly growing aviation industry in the
Asia Pacific (APAC) region over the next decade, Department of Tourism (DOT)
Undersecretary Benito C. Bengzon, Jr was quoted as saying at the Strategy Summit of Routes
Asia 2016 held Sunday at the SMX Convention Center in Pasay City.
According to him, the country is poised to capitalize on the growing demand of people to
connect by air and drive visitor traffic to this side of the world. The Philippines is now among
the fastest growing economies in the region, with a gross domestic product that is expected to
grow at a rate of 6.3% by yearend, the undersecretary added, implying the countrys viability as
a key gateway in the region.
Speaking before aviation industry leaders, Undersecretary Bengzon sees the summit as
an opportunity for tourism and transportation sectors to work hand in hand in making Philippine
destinations more attractive and accessible, calling for an urgent response for enhanced
connectivity and expanded capacity for aviation.
To enjoy the full dividends of tourism, he proposed that, tourism and aviation policies to
be aligned.
This was echoed by Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC)
Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya, who spoke at length about the improvements and
accomplishments of the local aviation industry under the Aquino administration. Among the
achievements that he mentioned included the lifting of the European Unions ban on the
countrys flag carriers, the return of these airlines to Category I status, and President Aquinos
recent signing of Protocols 5 and 6 of the ASEAN Multilateral Agreement in Air Services (MAAS)
that now allows Philippine air carriers to fly unlimited frequencies to and beyond the capital
cities of the ASEAN. Secretary Abaya also discussed about the ongoing expansions of the
other major gateways in the country including the Mactan-Cebu, and similar public-privatepartnership initiatives for airports of Silay, Iloilo, Davao, Laguindingan, and Palawan.
Infrastructure: crux for growth and development
Senior executives of some of the regions fastest-growing airlines were emphatic in
calling for policy makers and airport authorities to respond to infrastructure needs, referring to it
as crucial for the continued growth and development in the Asia Pacific.

DOT Media Release 8 March 2016

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Michael Miller, Routes Head of Content and Industry Relations, set the Summits
perspective and noted the host countrys strides in airport planning, while concluding that
ASEANs aviation has to have a long term planning in terms of infrastructure. With the
continued growth comes extreme situations in many airports around the regionone of which is
over capacity. And majority of over capacity airports are in Asia, Miller added, implying that
many of the biggest cities in Asia have larger non-stop destinations than Dubai, now the largest
airport in the world.
Infrastructure is the biggest issue, said Andrew Cowen, HK Express CEO, citing the
widening mismatch between airport infrastructure plans and the rapidly growing demand for lowcost carriers (LCC).
This dramatic rise in demand for LCC was reiterated by session I moderator Conrad
Clifford, IATA Regional Vice President for Asia-Pacific, who forecasted LCCs to continue
dominating the local market, inferring over a hundred million passengers entering into APAC
market in the next decades.
Cebu Air Vice President for Commercial Planning Alexander Lao minced no words in
proposing for the development of secondary airports to help meet the growing low cost market
and likewise keep airfares affordable.
As air travel continues to grow at a rate of 5% since 2011, airlines will need 38,000 new
aircrafts valued at $5.6 trillion towards 20134, Schubert explained. Southeast Asia will need
3,750 new airplanes valued at $550 billion, while APAC will need 675 new aircraft each year for
the next 20 years, declared John Schubert , Managing Director of Boeing, concluding that Asia
is expected to generate over a hundred million new passengers each year.
Now in its 14th edition, Routes Asia 2016 is organized by the London-based United
Business Media (UBM) and is hosted by the DOT in cooperation with the DOTC and the Manila
International Airport Authority (MIAA).

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CONTACT:

JAZMIN C. ESGUERRA
Director, Media and Communications
459-5200 to 30, local 307
esguerra_jazmin@yahoo.com

DOT Media Release 8 March 2016

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Photos (by Nestor Dionido, DOT-MCS)

Top to bottom: DOT Undersecretary Benito Bengzon, Jr. speaking before aviation leaders during
the Routes Asia 2016 Strategy Summit held last Sunday at the SMX Convention Center, Pasay
City. DOTC Secretary Joseph Emilio Aguinaldo Abaya giving his keynote speech.

DOT Media Release 8 March 2016


DOT Assistant Secretary Arturo Boncato answering questions from the media during the
Routes Asia press conference held on Friday at the SMX Convention Center, Pasay City.
Seated (L-R) DOT Director Verna Buensuceso and Andre Rowe of UBM-London.

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Top photo: (L-R) Joy Caneba, AirAsia Philippines CEO; Andrew Cowen, HK Express CEO;
Andrew Harrison, Mactan-Cebu Intl. Airport CEO; Andrew Herdman, Association of Asia Pacific
Airlines (AAPA); Alexander Lao, Cebu Air VP for Commercial Planning with Session I moderator
Conrad Clifford, IATA Regional Vice President for Asia Pacific.
Bottom: (L-R) Session II moderator Rico Hizon, BBC World News Anchor; Albert Villadolid,
Amadeus IT Group Managing Director for SEA, Distribution Commercial; Dr. Mathew McDougal,
CEO Digital Jungle; and John Shubert, Boeing Managing Director, Marketing Asia-Pacific.

DOT Media Release 8 March 2016

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