AirAsia Group CEO Tony Fernandes said that Macau is the low-cost airline’s “number one priority in North Asia” and that new routes are expected to be added very soon.
The first route to be introduced will link Macau with the Malaysian city of Johor Bahru, which shares a border with Singapore.
Fernandes was one of the speakers at the PATA Youth Symposium, which was hosted by the Institute for Tourism Studies yesterday. He mentioned other routes being planned between Macau, Thailand, Malaysia and The Philippines and even to the US territory of Guam.
According to a TDM report, Fernandes hopes to significantly increase the number of AirAsia passengers stopping in Macau from 800,000 yearly to 5 million, benefiting from the bridge linking Macau to Hong Kong.
Questioned on the need to expand the local airport, Fernandes said that the current capacity of the existing infrastructure is sufficient in the short term. However, he added that an expansion would be “excellent.”
“With the new bridge and the border [the arrangement to have AirAsia customers from mainland China entering Macau via a convenient channel], Macau can be a hub with a big dimension. One of the major problems in the tourism industry is that sometimes governments forget airports. I hope there are plans [to expand the airport],” Fernandes said, adding that he will meet with the Macau Airport Company representatives while in town.