By Lawrence Agcaoili, The Philippine Star
MANILA, Philippines – The partnership between Zest Airways Inc. and AirAsia Inc. is set to launch a rebranded airline within the next two months.
AirAsia Philippines president and chief executive officer Maan Hontiveros told reporters yesterday on the sidelines of the 1st Aviation Safety and Good Corporate Governance Symposium that the rebranded airline arising from the strategic partnership entered into by both airlines last May could be launch either in September or October.
“I was hoping by September or October. We want them (ZestAir) to carry the AirAsia brand and color as well,” Hontiveros stressed.
She pointed out that both airlines are just awaiting the green light from the Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB), Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP), the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), and other agencies.
She said AirAsia and ZestAir have been strandardizing their operations over the past few months.
“We are already also standardizing our operations even the uniform of ZestAir is moving towards the red color. We’d like to project ourselves as belonging to one family with the same standards of service,” she added.
According to her, certain operations of both AirAsia and ZestAir would be merged such as commercial marketing as well as backroom operations and human resources development.
Hontiveros said AirAsia would continue to operate as a separate airline from ZestAir.
“AirAsia will be operated as AirAsia while ZestAir will be operated as ZestAir. The operations are still separate as ZestAir will continue to operate in its Manila, Kalibo and Cebu hubs while AirAsia will continue to operate out of Clark,” she explained.
She added both airlines would have separate Airline Operators’ Certificate (AOC) from the CAAP.
“Zest has a brand name in the Philippines that is bigger than AirAsia as they have operated longer and they are operating in so many provinces. But I think the Airasia brand is very valuable,” Hontiveros said.
According to her, the rebranded airline would carry the names of both ZestAir and AirAsia.