AirAsia PH to refund passengers
MANILA, Philippines - AirAsia Philippines offered to refund passengers whose flights to domestic and regional destinations in October and beyond are affected by its decision to temporarily suspend operations in its Clark hub.
In a statement on Saturday, September 14, the local unit of budget airline giant AirAsia said other options for passengers bound for local destinations include being transferred to flights via its affiliate Zest Air, which operates in Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 4 (NAIA-4) in Manila, about 100 kilometers from Clark.
"Affected guests holding flight bookings for these flights will be notified of the route suspension via their registered member email account as well as an SMS notification. An AirAsia customer service representative will also call each affected guest on the options available to them to alleviate the inconvenience caused," said Maan Hontiveros, AirAsia Philippines' CEO.
Flights from Clark International Airport to Davao, Kalibo, Taipei and Hong Kong will be suspended effective October 9. Flights between Clark and Hong Kong will resume on December 20 until January 6, 2014 to cater to the strong holiday demand.
These are the choices offered for affected passengers:
- One-time transfer, at no extra cost and subject to availability, to an earlier flight of the same route
- Conversion of the value of the total fare to an online credit shell with a validity period of 180 days
- Full refund
AirAsia announced it is focusing its resources on Zest Air, which suffered financially when its flights were suspended in August.
The 4-day suspension was costly. Zest Air was losing around P70 million a day, a report said. Some placed the initial losses at around $10 million, excluding penalties other countries may impose.
Zest Air operates its hub in Manila, the country's main gateway and where feeder traffic is aplenty. Clark airport caters mostly to those from central and northern Luzon areas.
“The temporary suspension is primarily to manage costs following the recent grounding of Zest Air by the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP). This has affected many factors and allocating necessary resources such as aircraft and crew is critical to ensure its recovery,” Hontiveros said.
“Right now we need to focus our resources to support Zest Air where we have significant economic interest, and we believe in Zest Air’s potential with their Manila based operations,” added Hontiveros.
AirAsia has a 49% stake in Zest Air, a local budget airline.
Zest Air will soon be rebranded as AirAsia. - Rappler.com