Philippines AirAsia (Z2, Manila Ninoy Aquino Int'l) is contemplating a fleet roll-over from A320-200s to A321-200neo in the future as a means of coping with slot restrictions at the busiest gateways, Chief Executive Ricky P. Isla told the Manila Bulletin.

"AirAsia Philippines is still concretizing plans to purchase an A321neo. While we continue to achieve our operational goals with our existing twenty-four A320s, investing in newer additional aircraft will be advantageous for any airline in a slot-constrained environment," he said.

AirAsia Group has recently taken delivery of its maiden A321neo, 9M-VAA (msn 9139). The unit was placed with AirAsia (AK, Kuala Lumpur Int'l) and started operating domestically in Malaysia on November 23, 2019, Flightradar24 ADS-B data shows. The group has firm orders for a further 352 A321neo, including 253 orders previously converted from A320-200neo.

"This aircraft will be rolled across all of our AOCs moving forward over the next few years. In the Philippines, we see a big potential because we see constraints in Manila Ninoy Aquino Int'l in terms of a number of aircraft operating. If we want to grow in this sort of market, we need a bigger aircraft because we cannot add any more flights," AirAsia Group Senior Manager (Aircraft Planning and Evaluation) Matthew Glaus said.

The Filipino unit of the group currently operates twenty-four A320-200s, the ch-aviation fleets advanced module shows. This makes it the second-smallest franchise in the group, ahead only of AirAsia Japan (DJ, Nagoya Chubu). AirAsia India (I5, Bangalore Int'l) is marginally larger with twenty-five A320-200s, while Indonesia AirAsia (QZ, Jakarta Soekarno-Hatta) operates twenty-seven such aircraft.