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AirAsia passengers reach 144,215 in Q1

MANILA, Philippines - Philippines’ AirAsia Inc., the local unit of low cost carrier AirAsia Berhad of Malaysia, carried 144,215 passengers in the first quarter of the year, translating to a high load factor of 76 percent.

The airline only started its operations in March last year and now operates two aircraft in the Philippines.

The AirAsia Group reported a 19 percent increase in passengers to 9.78 million from January to March this year compared to 8.23 million in the same period last year.

The airline’s capacity jumped 21 percent to 12.3 million from 10.16 million as the number of aircraft increased to 122 from 100. This translated to a lower load factor of 79 percent from 81 percent.

Malaysia AirAsia’s number of passengers increased by seven percent to 5.17 million from 4.82 million, while that of Thai AirAsia surged 20 percent to 2.6 million passengers from 2.13 million.

Indonesia AirAsia’s passenger traffic surged 35 percent to 1.72 million from 1.273 million while Air Asia Japan carried 182,216 passengers in the first quarter of the year.

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Last March 11, Philippines’ AirAsia acquired a 49 percent stake in Zest Airways Group of Ambassador and juice magnate Alfredo Yao through a strategic alliance agreement.

Under the partnership, Philippines AirAsia would invest in the ZestAir Group by acquiring a 49 percent stake in Zest Airways and 100 percent in Asiawide Airways.

In turn, Yao would subscribe to shares in Philippines’ AirAsia.

Apart from AirAsia Group chief executive officer Tan Sri Tony Fernandes, Philippines AirAsia is also owned by Antonio “Tonyboy” Cojuangco Jr., Michael Romero and Marianne Hontiveros with 20 percent stake each.

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