14 October 2019
F&S Holdings, controlled by the family of Michael Romero, has assumed majority control of Philippines AirAsia (Z2, Manila Ninoy Aquino Int’l) after acquiring a 15.7% stake from Antonio Cojuangco’s vehicle TNR Holdings, English-language Philippine Daily Inquirer Business has reported.
The Romeros’ business already held a 44.4% stake prior to the acquisition. F&S Holdings chair Sheila Romero said that the terms and the value of the purchase were confidential. The remaining shares are held by AirAsia Group.
Meanwhile, the LCC’s Chairman Joseph Omar Castillo told reporters that the Initial Public Offering of Philippines AirAsia will be postponed to 2020 or 2021 as the company undergoes restructuring under new owners.
“According to our estimated timeline, we are looking at the third quarter next year to first quarter of 2021,” Castillo was quoted as saying by Reuters.
The LCC’s eventual goal is to raise USD200 million through the share issue. The IPO has already been postponed a number of times since it was first touted in 2015.
Meanwhile, the Malaysian unit AirAsia (AK, Kuala Lumpur Int’l) said it started charging lowered passenger service charges at Kuala Lumpur Int’l airport effective October 1, 2019, following a decision of the Malaysian Minister of Transport Anthony Loke Siew Fook to decrease the charges at the low-cost terminal klia2 from MYR73 ringgits to MYR50 (from USD17.5 to USD12).
The lower charges apply to passengers travelling outside the ASEAN region.
The LCC has been involved in a protracted dispute regarding airport charges with the operator Malaysia Airports Berhad since July 1, 2018, when the operator raised the fees at the low-cost terminal, matching the level at the full-service KLIA1 terminal.
AirAsia then refused to collect the increased fees. After a legal battle, in September 2019, AirAsia Group paid RM41.55 million (USD9.9 million) in overdue passenger charges, obeying a ruling by the Kuala Lumpur High Court from July 18 that sided with the airport operator.
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