AirAsia Inc., operating as Philippines AirAsia (previously, AirAsia Philippines until 2015), is a low-cost airline based at Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Metro Manila in the Philippines. The airline is the Philippine affiliate of AirAsia, a low-cost airline based in Malaysia. The airline started as a joint venture between three Filipino investors and AirAsia International Ltd, a subsidiary of AirAsia Berhad.
The original Filipino group includes: Antonio O. Cojuangco, Jr., former owner of Associated Broadcasting Company/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. 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.
Since section 10, Article XII of the Philippine Constitution does not allow 100% foreign ownership of a Philippine-registered business, Malaysian investor Tony Fernandes entered into a 40-60 joint venture with a group of Filipino business people. The joint venture application was approved on December 7, 2010 by the Board of Investments of the Philippines.
On August 15, 2011, AirAsia Philippines took delivery of its first aircraft, a brand-new Airbus A320 which arrived at Clark International Airport in Clark, Angeles City, Pampanga. On November 8, 2011, AirAsia Philippines took delivery of its second A320.
On February 7, 2012, the airline received its Air Operator Certificate from the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines which gives the airline permission to fly in Philippine airspace.
On April 8, 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.
On March 11, 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 May 10, 2013, and in 2015, both airlines were formally merged to form Philippines AirAsia.
On July 30, 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. Comendador is also famous in the Philippine aviation community as one of the hero pilots of Philippine Airlines Flight 434 which was bombed by terrorist Ramzi Yousef in 1994.
Philippines AirAsia commenced its operations in March 2012 utilising two brand new Airbus 320-200.
In the three months ending March 31, 2013, Philippines AirAsia carried 144,215 passengers.
The Philippines AirAsia fleet consists of the following aircraft (as of August 2016):AirAsia Philippine Patriots (ASEAN Basketball League, 2010-2012)
AirAsia Flying Spikers (Philippine Super Liga, 2014)