AirAsia eyes PH’s unit IPO this year
LOW-COST carrier AirAsia hopes its Philippine unit would go public this year and bank on the optimism over the airline’s strong performance, its chief said on Thursday.
After being delayed for so long, the initial public offering (IPO) of Philippines AirAsia may push through this year, AirAsia Group Chief Executive Officer Tony Fernandes said.
“We’ve started moving [in] the right direction. Number one, the company is doing very well,” Fernandes told reporters on the sidelines of Tourism Summit 2019 in Pasay City.
“We’ve been saying this for years, but we’re getting close [to doing it], he said. “[H]opefully we could do it this year.”
Philippine AirAsia President and CEO Dexter Comendador said last September the planned offering was delayed due to risks facing the airline industry, citing fuel prices, the foreign exchange rate, and the then-ongoing closure of Boracay island for environmental rehabilitation as the main factors.
Given the group’s bullishness, AirAsia may seek to raise from the IPO an amount greater than the $250 million it initially set, Fernandes said.
Entering the Philippine Stock Exchange could help the airline to finance its expansion projects and acquisition of more planes, Comendador had said.
AirAsia has been looking to have 70 planes in the next 10 years and open more routes. It has routes for Manila; Cebu; Kalibo, Aklan; and Clark, Pampanga. Besides these, it also flies to Davao, Tacloban, Tagbilaran, Puerto Princesa, Shanghai, Taipei, Incheon, Hong Kong, Macau, Kuala Lumpur, Kota Kinabalu and Singapore.
As of the first quarter of 2019, Philippines AirAsia has 23 Airbus A320s.
It ended 2018 with a net operating loss of P2.11 billion from a net income of P710 million a year earlier, weighed down by the sharp increase in jet fuel and weak peso.
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