AirAsia Zest to acquire 5 more aircraft through next year

MACAU – AirAsia Zest plans to acquire five more aircraft in the next 12 months for its overseas expansion.

Joy Caneba, AirAsia Zest executive vice president, told reporters flown in here from Manila that the airline expects two A320s this month and another three by next year.

Caneba said the new aircraft would be deployed to the airline’s new international routes.

“By December 19, we will be launching Cebu to Kota Kinabalu and Cebu to Incheon by end of 2013,” she said.

For next year, AirAsia Zest plans to fly to Haneda, Narita and Nagoya in Japan. AirAsia Zest expects the Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) to approve its application for flight entitlements to Japan.

“We will market our Japan flights by early second quarter of next year,” Caneba said.

On the domestic front, AirAsia Zest plans to increase its market share in Kalibo, Tagbilaran, Puerto Princesa, Cagayan de Oro and Davao.

AirAsia Zest has launched new flights from Manila to Miri and Macau, from Cebu to Kuala Lumpur, and from Kalibo to Shanghai.

The airline operates a fleet of 13 aircraft and serves nine domestic and four international routes from the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 4 (NAIA 4).

AirAsia Inc holds an 85 percent economic stake and a 49 percent voting interest in Zest Air, which in turn owns a 15 percent stake in the former. AirAsia group owns 40 percent of Philippines AirAsia Inc. The remaining 60 percent is held by Marianne Hontiveros, Michael Romero, Antonio Cojuangco and former ambassador Alfredo Yao.