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AirAsia Phl to go public

MANILA, Philippines - The Philippine and Indonesia units of low cost carrier AirAsia Berhad of Malaysia are set to go public to raise much needed funds to finance their respective expansion programs.

In his Twitter account @tonyfernandes, AirAsia founder Tony Fernandes confirmed that AirAsia Indonesia and AirAsia Philippines would pursue an initial public offering (IPO).

“We can confirm today that AirAsia Indonesia and AirAsia Philippines will be IPO (sic). Subject to respective board approvals,” Fernandes tweeted yesterday.

The airline executive pointed out that AirAsia’s business in both countries is improving.

“Business in both Philippines and Indonesia doing real well. Great support from both governments,” he said.

The Philippine unit of AirAsia would become the third airline listed at the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE).

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Shares of PAL Holdings Inc. – the parent firm of national flag carrier Philippine Airlines Inc. (PAL) of taipan Lucio Tan and budget airline Cebu Air Inc. (Cebu Pacific) of tycoon John Gokongwei are currently being traded at the PSE.

AirAsia Inc. (Philippines’s AirAsia) is 60 percent owned by Filipino shareholders including entrepreneurs Marianne Hontiveros, Antonio Cojuangco Jr., Dr. Michael Romero, and Ambassador Alfredo Yao. AirAsia Berhad of Malaysia through wholly-owned subsidiary AirAsia International Inc. owns the remaining 40 percent of Philippines’ AirAsia.

Philippines’ AirAsia was established in December 2010. It was rebranded to AirAsia Zest after it bought into Yao’s Zest Airways Inc. in 2013.

AirAsia Zest now services nine domestic and four international routes from the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) using a fleet of 13 Airbus aircraft.

It is by far the Philippine carrier with most flights to and from Kalibo which is the gateway to the popular resort island of Boracay.


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