Route expansion possibilities in Asia – what’s left for FSCs?

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Senior executives from China Southern Airlines, Mega Maldives Airlines and Association of Asia Pacific Airlines gathered at Aviation Festival Asia 2016 in February to discuss route expansion possibilities in Asia.

Asia’s aviation industry will grow further, providing exciting growth opportunities for carriers, but executives agreed that there are huge challenges that may hinder route expansion.

One of the biggest challenges is growing the volume of flights. Major hub airports, such as Hong Kong International Airport, are already exceeding their maximum annual capacity and therefore not able to accommodate requests for additional slots.

It forces airlines to look for alternative hubs, however, infrastructure remains a huge challenge. Most airports in Asia are not able to accommodate increasing flight and passenger numbers. Airports in Asia are also behind in providing great customer experience on the ground – lack of communication and customer service is obvious. This leads to the development of secondary hubs, however, they are more favourable for LCCs. 

Upgrading the fleets with larger aircraft, which can carry more people, could be a solution to the constraints of additional slots, however this can come at extremely high costs that not many LCCs can handle.

Manpower is another huge challenge. With LCC airlines launching and growing rapidly, resources are being spread increasingly thinly.

What are the biggest challenges that you are facing with expansion in Asia?

We’ll be updating you on this issue at the 2017 Aviation Festival Asia in Singapore on 21-22 February.

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