AirAsia seeks Congress' approval to take control of Zest Air
MANILA, Philippines – Low-cost carrier Philippines AirAsia is seeking congressional approval to take control of Zest Airways, now majority-owned by juice magnate Alfredo Yao.
Zest Air executive vice president and chief operating officer Joy Caneba said PH AirAsia wants to hike its stake in Zest Air to 51% from 49%.
PH AirAsia owns an 85% economic interest and 49% voting interest in Zest Air following an agreement signed with Yao in May. Zest Air, in turn, holds around 15% of PH AirAsia.
PH AirAsia was established by Malaysia's AirAsia Berhad, Southeast Asia's largest budget airline, and Filipino investors Antonio Cojuangco, Michael Romero and Marianne Hontiveros.
Caneba said PH AirAsia needs to get the nod of Congress to obtain the 2% interest in Zest Air.
She said the airline already submitted its corporate documents to the Committee on Franchise of the House of Representatives in line with this plan.
“A franchise is also a law and there is a certain process that we have to go through in both houses of Congress. The basic requirement is the intention to acquire more equity and the transfer of controlling interest. You have to inform Congress who will be acquiring and who will be transferring,” she explained.
The airlines earlier announced the rebranding of Zest Air to reflect its partnership with PH AirAsia.
Caneba said they will launch the rebranded airline – AirAsia Zest – on October 21. The rebranding was approved by the Civil Aeronautics Board in September, along with the airline's new logo.
She added existing shareholders also committed to pump in $100 million in fresh funds into the venture.