AirAsia now controls Zest Air

ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 24 2013 04:49 PM | Updated as of May 25 2013 12:49 AM

MANILA, Philippines - Malaysia's AirAsia Berhad, through its local airline unit, now controls local budget carrier Zest Airways.

This as Philippines' AirAsia completed the "strategic alliance agreement" it entered with Zest Air, owned by businessman Alfredo Yao, last March.

AirAsia acquired an 85% economic interest and 49% voting rights in ZestAir, as well as a 100% interest in Yao's Asiawide Airways Inc.

In exchange, ZestAir received $16 million and a 13% interest in Philippines' AirAsia. The deal was completed on May 10.

AirAsia said the acquisition allows the airline, which is currently based in Clark, to access the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.

"With this partnership in place, other than our current base in Clark, Philippines’ AirAsia would be able to operate from the main airport in Manila as well. This helps us to attract feeder traffic into Clark and leverage on Zest Air’s attractive slots from Manila," Marianne Hontiveros, chief executive officer of AirAsia, said.

Hontiveros said ZestAir flights can now be booked on AirAsia's website, and will be part of the AirAsia Group’s network.

AirAsia's Philippine unit, which is owned by AirAsia Group chief executive officer Tan Sri Tony Fernandes, Antonio “Tonyboy” Cojuangco Jr., Michael Romero and Hontiveros.