AirAsia Philippines eyes initial public offering

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AirAsia Philippines eyes initial public offering
(UPDATED) The budget carrier’s rivals – PAL Holdings Incorporated and Cebu Air Incorporated – are being traded at the Philippine Stock Exchange

MANILA, Philippines  (UPDATED) – AirAsia Philippines and Indonesia are set to go public, the airline’s founder, Tony Fernandes, announced via his Twitter account.

Pending board approval, the initial public offering is eyed since business in both Philippines and Indonesia is good.

“Great support from both governments,” Fernandes tweeted.

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

AirAsia Incorporated (Philippines’s AirAsia) is 60% 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 Incorporated, owns the remaining 40% of Philippines’ AirAsia.

Philippines’ AirAsia (PAA) was established in December 2010. Yao’s Zest Airways Incorporated was rebranded to AirAsia Zest after it was bought by PAA in 2013.

PAA is currently seeking 100% ownership of AirAsiaZest, pending approval of the Civil Aeronautics Board and the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines.

AirAsia Zest CEO Joy Caneba confirmed that the airline will go public and said the details of the offering are still discussed and will be presented to the board.

AirAsia Zest now services 9 domestic and 4 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, the gateway to the popular resort island of Boracay.

AirAsia flies to 90 destinations. AirAsia Philippines also operates a fleet of 15 aircraft.

Fernandes, who transformed a floundering carrier into Asia’s biggest budget airline, faced his first major crisis after an AirAsia plane went missing in 2014.

AirAsia Flight QZ8501 went down in stormy weather on December 28, 2014, killing all 162 people on board. Rescuers called off the hunt for the remaining passengers on March 17 this year. –

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