As the AirAsia group moves to grow its presence at Clark International Airport in Pampanga, Philippines, it is also looking to bid for a operation and maintenance contract for its hub north of Manila.
In a Tweet, AirAsia Group CEO Tony Fernandes stated that the company would place a bid for a 25-year operation and maintenance contract at Clark, which could potentially make the former US Air Force base and the Freeport Zone into a major travel hub in the ASEAN region.
“Bringing Asean together. Indonesia, Malaysia and Philippines to bid for Clarke airport in Manila and build a big east Asean hub. Walking the talk on Asean. Kudos to Indonesia airports. Look what can be done in Asean when we work together,” Fernandes Tweeted.
In recent years, AirAsia and its subsidary in the Philippines - Philippines AirAsia - has been adding more flights to and from to the airport to help ease the congestion at Manila's Ninoy Aquino Airport. Clark - which happens to be where the first AirAsia flights in the Philippines landed - is now being primed by the airline to be the airline's main base within the country.
The bid will be submitted to the Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA), a government owned and controlled corporation under the Office of the Philippine President.
The AirAsia group was among 30 groups who attended a pre-bid conference in May which included some of the Philippines' major business conglomerates. It has been reported that eight companies have bought bid documents for the airport such as Megawide Construction Corp, Metro Pacific Investments Corp and San Miguel Holdings Corp.
After initial news reports the initial planned schedule for bids,awarding of a contract, and signing was set for the end of August, the BCDA would be accepting bids into late-August.