Has the Aboitiz Group Acquired a Majority Stake in This Popular Budget Airline?

A major local broadsheet first reported that the Aboitiz Group is now the new majority shareholder of AirAsia. But is this really true? Here’s what we know.

News has been circulating that Aboitiz Equity Ventures (AEV) has set its sights on AirAsia, which has been awarded as the World’s Best Low-Cost Airline for 14 straight years. In fact, said report mentioned plans for a 60% stake in the airline, which would have made the company a major shareholder.

Is this really the case? According to a separate statement issued, the Aboitiz Group said that it “would like to clarify and state that this information is not true and accurate.”

“At this time, we are actively verifying the sources that led to the publication of this article and have requested that the article be taken down,” the conglomerate added while informing its shareholders that it would communicate any developments involving its operations only through its official channels.

Capital A and Aboitiz Group are in Talks Regarding a Different Matter

For its part, AirAsia’s parent company, Capital A (formerly known as AirAsia Group), confirmed that while they are communicating with Aboitiz Group, it is about a different matter entirely. In fact, the two are in talks as the Aboitiz Group prepares to operate the Mactan-Cebu International Airport by next year. 

“Capital A companies, including AirAsia, are fostering strong relations with Aboitiz Group and Mactan-Cebu International Airport and we remain committed to engaging in fruitful discussion with various stakeholders who share our vision of democratizing air travel in ASEAN,” AirAsia Philippines said in a statement, according to the Philippine Star

Capital A’s Other Plans in the Philippines

While it has been strongly denied that AirAsia is now under the ownership of a Filipino conglomerate, the public can expect to see an increase in the company’s presence here in the country. 

In fact, it has been previously reported here in The Business Manual that Capital A has revealed its plans to launch a ride-hailing service in the Philippines. Capital A has already launched the same service in other countries, including Malaysia. And while there has been no set launch date yet for the service, it is already expected to generate jobs for Filipinos—specifically, around 2,000 jobs in the next two or three years. 

Capital A CEO Tony Fernandes even said that this number can grow—should the service be a success in the Philippines.