(File photo)

MANILA – AirAsia Philippines on Tuesday said it will expand its network, while also seeing the airline's full recovery by 2023.

To further widen its domestic reach, AirAsia is looking at Butuan and Tawi-Tawi via Zamboanga in Mindanao; Legazpi, Tuguegarao and Laoag in Luzon.

It is also strategically considering Bohol as one of its hubs in the Visayas.

"For domestic tourism is on a strong rebound, hence, as we move to the new normal, we hope to decentralize the foot traffic in the usual tourist destinations of our country as we offer other Filipino destinations that are just as exciting," spokesperson Steve Dailisan told the Philippine News Agency.

Dailisan said the firm is also in the early planning stages of international expansion, which he said is set to support the demand of not just leisure travelers going abroad, but also the large number of Filipino workers going overseas for employment.

"We believe that we can help our kababayans succeed in their endeavors by offering them affordable world-class flights," he said.
"Our target is to reach, if not even exceed, pre-[coronavirus disease] capacity across all routes by the second quarter of 2023," Dailisan said.

The firm, he said, is highly optimistic that all international markets, including China, will have opened by then.

The International Air Transport Association recently reported that globally, air traffic is now at 70.8 percent pre-crisis levels. (PNA)