AirAsia Philippines gets nod for 51% stake in Zest

AirAsia Philippines has secured Philippines senate approval in its bid to acquire a majority 51 per cent shareholding in Zest Airways, Inc.


AirAsia Philippines gets nod for 51% stake in Zest


AirAsia Philippines has secured Philippines senate approval in its bid to acquire a majority 51 per cent shareholding in Zest Airways, Inc. (AirAsia Philippines currently operates as AirAsia Zest). Joy Caneba, AirAsia Zest’s CEO, told the local media that once formalities with the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Civil Aeronautics Board have been completed, AirAsia Zest will rebrand and operate as AirAsia Philippines thereby unifying the AirAsia brand in the Philippines.

Zest Airways Inc.’s majority shareholder Alfredo Yao will take a 15 per cent stake in AirAsia Philippines in addition to cash, while AirAsia Philippines’ existing Filipino shareholders – Antonio Cojuangco, Michael Romero, and Marianne Hontiveros – will each receive a 15 per cent stake in the carrier.

The remaining 40 per cent will continue to be owned by parent company, AirAsia Berhad of Malaysia.

“We’ve put in US$100 million already in cash terms [into AirAsia Inc.], excluding the planes. And we are committing another US$500 million once we get the franchise approval. That’s over a period of three to four years,” Air Asia Berhad founder and group CEO Tony Fernandes said.

Formerly Zest Air, AirAsia Zest operates a fleet of thirteen A320-200s on flights throughout the Philippines, as well as to South Korea, Malaysia, Macau, and China. Once its takeover of AirAsia Zest is complete, AirAsia Philippines intends to consolidate its domestic operations with bases in Davao and Cebu before expanding its international network. Growth will be supported by twelve A320-200s AirAsia Philippines has on order.