Quantcast
Latest Stories

AirAsia in talks to buy Zest Airways

Alliances in crowded budget carrier sector

By

Malaysia’s AirAsia group is making a move to acquire local budget airline Zest Airways in a bid to expand its foothold in the fast-growing Philippine market.

Malaysia’s AirAsia group is making a move to acquire local budget airline Zest Airways in a bid to expand the regional giant’s foothold in the fast-growing Philippine market.

Highly placed Inquirer sources said that while nothing has been signed as of yet, negotiations were ongoing between AirAsia and the group of former ambassador and juice-drink magnate Alfred Yao.

In an interview on Wednesday, Yao confirmed that the company was in talks with several groups on the possible entry of new investors to help the airline compete in the country’s crowded budget carrier sector.

“We have been approached, but nothing is final yet. There are offers,” he told the Inquirer. Yao declined to confirm talks with the AirAsia group, owned by former music industry executive and Malaysian billionaire Tony Fernandes.

He said Zest Airways would make an appropriate announcement once a deal has been signed.

AirAsia already has a presence in the Philippines through local unit AirAsia Inc., a consortium between Fernandes, who owns 40 percent, and Antonio “Tonyboy” Cojuangco Jr., Michael Romero and Marianne Hontiveros, who own 20 percent each.

Constitutional restrictions bar foreigners from owning more than 40 percent of transportation companies. The same limitation applies to other utility firms, which are businesses considered as “imbued” with public interest.

AirAsia in the Philippines operates flights between the Clark Freeport in Pampanga and domestic routes like Davao, Puerto Princesa and Kalibo. The company also has international flights to Hong Kong, Macau and Kuala Lumpur.

AirAsia Malaysia, meanwhile, operates flights between Kuala Lumpur and the Clark International Airport in Pampanga. AirAsia Malaysia also has flights between the former military base and Kota Kinabalu.

Asked if flag carrier Philippine Airlines (PAL) was approached for a possible investment in Zest Airways, president Ramon S. Ang said, “Late tayo” (we were late).

Local AirAsia officials could not be reached for comment.

Data from the Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) released last week showed the growth in the country’s international airline sector slowing to 7.34 percent in the first half, slower than the 11 percent booked last year.

Domestic demand, however, remained robust, with passenger traffic within the country growing 13.33 percent in the same six-month period.


Follow Us


Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter


Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: acquisition , Air Transport , AirAsia , airlines , Business , Philippines , Zest Airways



Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
Advertisement
Advertisement

News

  • Napoles tags over 100 officials in pork scam – Lacson
  • Vitangcol to sue Czech envoy
  • Senator’s kickback from pork bigger than those of Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – Lacson
  • 43 out of 414 Etihad passengers yet to be found, tested for MERS-CoV – Palace
  • Sandigan junks Marcos family claim to Paoay property
  • Sports

  • Caguioa blasts ‘no heart, soft’ Ginebra on Twitter
  • San Mig Coffee grinds out win over Alaska to force decider
  • UP nips St. Benilde; Adamson blasts RTU in Filoil women’s caging
  • Kevin Garnett responds to Raptors’ GM F word
  • Albert Pujols hits 500th HR of major league career
  • Lifestyle

  • Entering the monkhood a rite of passage
  • Haneda International Airport: A destination on its own
  • Wanted: Beauty queen with a heart that beats for the environment
  • Kim Atienza: At home with art and design
  • Life lessons I want to teach my son
  • Entertainment

  • Bollywood Oscars, film stars come to Florida
  • Ex-Fox exec denies allegations in sex abuse suit
  • Kris Aquino backtracks, says Herbert Bautista and her are ‘best friends’
  • Summer preview: Chris Pratt enters a new ‘Galaxy’
  • Bon Jovi helps open low-income housing in US
  • Business

  • SM to rebuild Tacloban hospital
  • PSEi slips after 4-day rally
  • Toyota sells 2.58 million vehicles, outselling GM
  • McDonald’s 1Q profit slips as US sales decline
  • SEC approves SM’s P15B retail bond offer
  • Technology

  • ‘Unlimited’ Internet promos not really limitless; lawmakers call for probe
  • Viber releases new design for iPhone, comes to Blackberry 10 for the first time
  • Engineers create a world of difference
  • Bam Aquino becomes Master Splinter’s son after Wiki hack
  • Mark Caguioa lambasts Ginebra teammates on Twitter
  • Opinion

  • One-dimensional diplomacy: A cost-benefit analysis of Manila’s security deal with Washington
  • No ordinary illness
  • Reforest mountains with fire trees and their kind
  • Day of the Earth
  • When will Chinese firm deliver new coaches?
  • Global Nation

  • 19 Ukrainians, Russians, Filipinas rescued in bar raid
  • Filipinos coming home from Mideast must obtain MERS clearance – DOH
  • US Secret Service in Manila ahead of Obama visit
  • Palace thanks Estrada for successful HK mission
  • Hong Kong accepts PH apology; sanctions also lifted
  • Marketplace