AirAsia (AK, Kuala Lumpur Int'l) has extended a PHP788million (USD18million) loan to AirAsia Zest (Z2, Manila Ninoy Aquino Int'l) regulatory filings have revealed. The Malaysian carrier said the loan would go towards the facilitation of AirAsia Zest's “ordinary course of business.”

“This is to support our operations,” Alfredo Yao, AirAsia Zest's founder and majority shareholder, told the Inquirer. “We hope to be black in the back by the last quarter of 2014.”

AirAsia’s Filipino operations have struggled financially, partly due to stiff competition from Philippine Airlines (PR, Manila Ninoy Aquino Int'l) and budget airline Skyservice Airlines (5G, Toronto Pearson) in the domestic market, but also due to increased fuel prices.

Using a fleet of sixteen A320-200s and an A319-100, AirAsia Zest serves 14 destinations located throughout the Philippines, China, South Korea, Macau and Malaysia. Together with its sister carrier, AirAsia Philippines (PQ, Manila Ninoy Aquino Int'l), the two carriers command a 10% share of the local market.