Philippines AirAsia

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Philippines AirAsia
IATA ICAO Callsign
Founded7 December 2010 (2010-12-07)
Commenced operations28 March 2012 (2012-03-28)
Operating bases
Frequent-flyer programBIG[3]
Fleet size24
Parent companyAirAsia
HeadquartersPasay, Metro Manila
Key people

Philippines AirAsia, Inc. is a low-cost airline based at Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Metro Manila in the Philippines.[5] The airline is the Philippine affiliate of AirAsia, a low-cost airline based in Malaysia. The airline started as a joint venture among three Filipino investors and AirAsia Investments Ltd., a subsidiary of AirAsia Berhad.

It is a successor to Zest Airways, Inc.. In 2013, a share swap agreement with Zest Airways added Alfredo Yao of Zest-O Corporation as an additional owner of the company. Zest Airways was rebranded as AirAsia Zest and operated as a separate brand from AirAsia until merged into Philippines AirAsia in January 2016.[6][7]

The original group of Philippine investors included Antonio O. Cojuangco, Jr., former owner of Associated Broadcasting Company and owner of Dream Satellite TV; Michael L. Romero, a real estate developer and port operator; and Marianne Hontiveros, a former music industry executive and TV host.[8]


Since Section 10, Article XII of the Philippine Constitution forbids 100% foreign ownership of a Philippine-registered business,[9] Malaysian investor Tony Fernandes entered into a 40-60 joint venture with a group of Filipino business people, with 40% belonging to Philippines AirAsia and 60% for Malaysia AirAsia. The joint venture application was approved on 7 December 2010 by the Board of Investments of the Philippines.

On 15 August 2011, AirAsia Philippines took delivery of its first aircraft,[10] a brand-new Airbus A320 which arrived at Clark International Airport in Clark, Angeles City, Pampanga. On 8 November 2011, AirAsia Philippines took delivery of its second A320.

On 7 February 2012, the airline received its Air Operator Certificate[11] from the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines which gives the airline permission to fly in Philippine airspace.

On 8 April 2012, Philippines AirAsia partnered with Victory Liner, one of the largest provincial bus companies operating in the Philippines, to provide free shuttle service for inbound and outbound passengers of Clark International Airport.[12]

An Airbus A320-200 operated by Philippines AirAsia in Puregold livery, on final approach at Taipei Taoyuan Airport.

On 11 March 2013, an agreement was made between AirAsia Philippines to swap shares with Philippine-based airline Zest Airways. Zest Airways received a mix of $16 million cash and a 13% share in AirAsia Philippines, while AirAsia Philippines now owns 85% of Zest Airways, with 49% of its voting rights. The share swap also gives AirAsia Philippines access to Ninoy Aquino International Airport, allowing further growth of its route network. The deal closed on 10 May 2013, and in 2015, both airlines were formally merged to form Philippines AirAsia.[7][13]

On 30 July 2016, AirAsia Group CEO Tony Fernandes appointed Capt. Dexter Comendador as the new CEO of the company. Comendador joined Philippines AirAsia in 2011 as director of Flight Operations and was promoted to chief operating officer in 2015 before his appointment.[14] Comendador is also famous in the Philippine aviation community as one of the hero pilots of Philippine Airlines Flight 434 who was bombed by the terrorist Ramzi Yousef in 1994.

The COVID-19 pandemic has adversely affected Philippines Air Asia's business. Plans for Philippine AirAsia to debut in the Philippine Stock Exchange within 2020 was deferred in March 2020, with the airline management deciding to focus on expanding its domestic operations after a government ban on China and South Korea in response to the worsening health situation threatening 30% of the airlines' revenue.[15]


Country City Airport Notes Refs
China Guangzhou Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport
Shanghai Shanghai Pudong International Airport
Shenzhen Shenzhen Bao’an International Airport
Hong Kong Hong Kong Hong Kong International Airport
Indonesia Denpasar Ngurah Rai International Airport
Japan Osaka Kansai International Airport
Macau Macau Macau International Airport
Malaysia Kota Kinabalu Kota Kinabalu International Airport
Kuala Lumpur Kuala Lumpur International Airport
Philippines Bacolod Bacolod–Silay Airport
Cagayan de Oro Laguindingan Airport Base
Caticlan Godofredo P. Ramos Airport
Cebu Mactan–Cebu International Airport Base [16]
Clark Clark International Airport Base [16]
Davao Francisco Bangoy International Airport Base
General Santos General Santos International Airport [17]
Iloilo Iloilo International Airport
Kalibo Kalibo International Airport Base
Manila Ninoy Aquino International Airport Base
Puerto Princesa Puerto Princesa International Airport Base
Tacloban Daniel Z. Romualdez Airport
Tagbilaran Bohol–Panglao International Airport
Zamboanga Zamboanga International Airport [18][16]
Singapore Singapore Singapore Changi Airport
South Korea Busan Gimhae International Airport
Seoul Incheon International Airport
Taiwan Kaohsiung Kaohsiung International Airport
Taipei Taoyuan International Airport
Thailand Bangkok Don Mueang International Airport
Vietnam Ho Chi Minh City Tan Son Nhat International Airport [19]


As of May 2021, the Philippines AirAsia fleet consists of the following aircraft:[20]

Philippines AirAsia fleet
Aircraft In service Orders Passengers Notes
Airbus A320-200 24 1 180 RP-C8972 in AirAsia All Stars special livery.
RP-C8975 and RP-C8978 in Puregold special livery.
RP-C8974 in ASEAN special livery.
Total 24 1

Sports teams[edit]


  1. ^ "Philippines AirAsia to launch Cagayan de Oro base - Aviation Updates Philippines".
  2. ^ "The Exciting Centennial of Philippine Aviation: PAA To Make Palawan 4th Base".
  3. ^ "Join BIG! AirAsia BIG Loyalty Programme". Archived from the original on 26 May 2008.
  4. ^ "AirAsia PHL names new CEO | BusinessWorld".
  5. ^ AirAsia launches Philippine joint venture | The Manila Bulletin Newspaper Online
  6. ^ Agcaoili, Lawrence (25 May 2013). "AirAsia acquires 85% interest in ZestAir". The Philippine Star. Retrieved 7 June 2013.
  7. ^ a b "Philippines AirAsia: 7 Facts You Need To Know About the Name Change". Let's Go Sago. 4 November 2015. Retrieved 27 February 2017.
  8. ^ "AirAsia insider: Marianne Hontiveros". Retrieved 7 June 2013.
  9. ^ "Archived copy". Retrieved 21 October 2013.
  10. ^ [1]
  11. ^ "TTG Asia - Leader in Hotel, Airlines, Tourism and Travel Trade News - AirAsia Philippines gets license to fly". Archived from the original on 27 May 2017.
  12. ^ Navales, Reynaldo G (April 8, 2012). "Victory Liner, AirAsia provide free shuttle for Clark passengers". Sun.Star Pampanga. Sun.Star Publishing, Inc. Archived from the original on January 8, 2014. Retrieved February 11, 2014.
  13. ^ "Philippines AirAsia Organizational Structure". Retrieved 27 February 2017.
  14. ^ "PHL AirAsia names Comendador as interim CEO". GMA News Online.
  15. ^ Camus, Miguel (2 March 2020). "COVID-19 crisis puts AirAsia IPO plan on hold". Philippine Daily Inquirer. Retrieved 2 March 2020.
  16. ^ a b c
  17. ^
  18. ^ "AirAsia set to fly to Zamboanga, General Santos and Dumaguete | BusinessWorld".
  19. ^ "Philippines AirAsia resumes Manila – Ho Chi Minh City service from late-March 2020".
  20. ^ "Philippines AirAsia Fleet Details and History". Retrieved 17 May 2017.

External links[edit]