AirAsia expands in the Philippines, buys into budget carrier Zest Air
MANILA (AP) - AirAsia, South-east Asia's largest budget carrier, has expanded its foothold in the Philippines by acquiring 49 per cent of local budget carrier Zest Airways.
AirAsia Philippines CEO Marianne Hontiveros said the deal signed on Monday will complement AirAsia's growth strategies. Zest Air operates 11 aircraft on 10 domestic and 10 international routes. It has hubs in Manila, Kalibo and Cebu in central Philippines, which are major tourist destinations.
Under the deal, Zest Air will get a 15 per cent stake in AirAsia's Philippine unit.
Malaysia-based AirAsia started operations in the Philippines last year from Clark airport, a two- to three-hour drive from the capital, while Zest Air operates from Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Manila. AirAsia's routes from Clark include Kuala Lumpur, Hong Kong, Singapore, Taipei, and Kalibo and Davao in the Philippines.