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AirAsia acquires 49 percent of Zest Air


01:48 PM March 11th, 2013

By: Karen Boncocan, March 11th, 2013 01:48 PM

MANILA, Philippines – Philippines’ AirAsia (PAA) Incorporated on Monday said that it has acquired 49 percent of local budget carrier Zest Airways, Incorporated in a strategic alliance envisioned to strengthen their operations in both Clark International Airport and Ninoy Aquino International Airport.

In a statement, Philippines’ AirAsia CEO Marianne Hontiveros said that the “strategic alliance” between the two budget carriers would “complement the strategies for future growth of PAA (Philippines’ AirAsia), which currently operates out of Clark.”

PAA entered into a strategic alliance agreement with Ambassador Alfredo Yao, the majority shareholder of Zest Airways Inc. And Asiawide Airways Incorporated.

Hontiveros said that the investment in the Zest Group 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.”

Zest Air will get a 15 percent stake in Philippines’ Air Asia.

Zest Air operates 11 aircraft on 10 domestic and 10 international routes. It has hubs in Manila, Kalibo and Cebu in the central Philippines, which are major tourist destinations.

Malaysia-based AirAsia started operations in the Philippines in 2012 from Clark airport, a 2-3 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.

The joint venture would allow both carriers to “widen the choice of low cost travel within the Philippines and the region,” said Yao. With a report from AP

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