AirAsia has expanded its foothold in the Philippines by acquiring 49% of local budget carrier Zest Airways.
Philippines’ AirAsia chief executive Marianne Hontiveros said that the alliance will complement AirAsia’s growth strategies.
Zest Air runs 11 aircraft on 10 domestic and 10 international routes. It has hubs in the capital of Manila, Kalibo and Cebu in the central Philippines, which are major tourist destinations.
Malaysia-based AirAsia started operations in the Philippines last year from Clark airport, a 2-3 hour drive from the capital, while Zest Air operates from Ninoy Aquino international airport (Naia) in Manila.
AirAsia’s routes include Kuala Lumpur, Hong Kong, Singapore, Taipei and Kalibo and Davao in the Philippines.
Zest will get a 15% stake in Philippines’ Air Asia.
Hontiveros said: “This will allow us to leverage on our respective strengths, which in the case of Zest Air, include its operations out of Naia, which constitutes a majority of the air traffic in the Philippines and a strong domestic network which feeds into its current international routes.”
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