Philippines’ AirAsia (PAA) Inc has acquired 49% of local budget airline Zest Airways, Inc in a “strategic alliance” that would “complement the strategies for future growth of PAA (Philippines’ AirAsia), which currently operates out of Clark”, said PAA CEO Marianne Hontiveros.
The deal also gives Zest Air a 15% stake in PAA.
In a statement, Hontiveros said the investment will allow Philippines’ AirAsia to “leverage on our respective strengths, which in the case of Zest Air, include its operations out of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.”
Ambassador Alfredo Yao, majority shareholder of Zest Airways Inc, said the venture would allow both carriers to “widen the choice of low-cost travel within the Philippines and the region.”
Zest Air operates hubs in Manila and major tourist destinations Kalibo and Cebu in central Philippines. It operates 11 aircraft on 10 domestic and 10 international routes.
Malaysia-based AirAsia has been operating in Clark International Airport since 2012. Routes from Clark include Kuala Lumpur, Hong Kong, Singapore, Taipei and Kalibo and Davao in the Philippines.