AirAsia Not Fazed by Cebu Pacific-Tigerair Merger

AirAsia Zest is brushing off the recent merger of Cebu Pacific and Tigerair Philippines as a mere part of industry consolidation rather than any significant threat. The airline is presently focused on its own expansion and plans to acquire additional aircraft later this year.

airasia zest
Copyright Photo: Angelo Agcamaran/PPSG
"No, I see no reason to oppose it," said Maan Hontiveros, CEO of AirAsia Philippines. "It will make Cebu Pacific bigger but that is okay." She added that the merger simply consolidates the number of airlines operating in the Philippines which improves market conditions for existing players and places AirAsia Zest as the "alternative airline" alongside Cebu Pacific and Philippine Airlines.

AirAsia Zest currently operates a fleet of twelve aircraft and is planning to add up to four new aircraft this year with the first two additions expected to arrive before June. The airline is evaluating the possibility of launching flights to Nagoya and Osaka in Japan as well as parts of China later this year.

Hontiveros believes that the Cebu Pacific-Tigerair Philippines merger could prove to be an advantage for AirAsia Zest. In January, Cebu Pacific revealed that it was acquiring one hundred percent of Tigerair Philippines in a deal valued at $15 million.
AirAsia Zest is also continuing to explore the possibility of mounting long haul flights through a partnership with AirAsia X and AirAsia Berhad. "That is always a possibility," said Hontiveros. "If we do long haul, we will partner with AirAsia X." Hontiveros added that AirAsia is interested in returning once again to Clark International Airport after pulling operations last year in favour of establishing its main hub at Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Manila. The airline is also planning to increase domestic operations from Manila and Kalibo. 

Meanwhile, the House of Representatives has approved the sale of ZestAir to AirAsia Philippines. Zest Air was established as a franchise under Republic Act No. 9183 meaning that any change in the airline's ownership required the approval of Congress. The approval of the House was confirmed in Joint Resolution No. 10, which has now been submitted to the Senate for approval. Zest Air was formerly controlled by Alfredo Yao who is now a part owner of AirAsia Philippines.


  1. di ba dapat FAZED? faze, as in disturb or disconcert. From 19th century feeze meaning to frighten. Instead of phase which is from the Greek word phasis meaning appearance

    1. Good Catch! It should be "fazed" - thanks for spotting this!


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