AirAsia will be teaming up with an Indonesian firm in a bid for the operations and maintenance contract for the Clark International Airport in Pampanga, Philippines.
The Malaysian-based low cost carrier has been reported to be preparing its bid for a 25-year, PHP 5.6 Billion (USD $104 million) contract for the Clark Airport before a deadline of September 20. Among the partners reported to be joining along with AirAsia’s bid is two unnamed companies (local and foreign), and Indonesian airport operator PT Angkasa Pura II.
PT Angkasa Pura II is one of two separate state enterprises of the Indonesian Department of Transportation who run Indonesia's airports. The group is responsible for the operations of 14 airports in Indonesia including Jakarta’s Soekarno-Hatta Airport – the largest and main international airport of Indonesia.
As AirAsia looks to bid on the contract, it has been reported that eight other companies are considering to place competing bids. These companies include major Philippine conglomerates including Megawide Construction Corporation, GMR Infrastructure Ltd., Metro Pacific Investments Corp, and the San Miguel Holdings Corporation.
The expansion of Clark Airport has been underway with a new passenger terminal being planned capable of handling 8 million passengers along with local and foreign airlines adding new domestic and international flights to the airport. Last year, Megawide-GMR won the bid to construct the passenger terminal which is expected to be worth PHP 9.36 billion (USD $173.5 million). The new terminal is expected to be opened in July 2020.
AirAsia through its local arm Philippines AirAsia has been heavily placing its future bets and plans for the Philippines on the former US Air Force base, which has been seen as a viable alternative to travelers from the Manila area. The low cost carrier has also made plans to shift its Philippine headquarters from Manila to Clark as it expects to grow its fleet to 70 planes over the next few years.
AirAsia’s interest in the bidding for the Clark Airport contract was first revealed by group CEO Tony Fernandes who tweeted last month:
“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.”