Philippines AirAsia (Z2, Manila Ninoy Aquino Int'l), the newly founded company formed via the merger of Filipino operators AirAsia Zest (Z2, Manila Ninoy Aquino Int'l) and AirAsia Philippines (PQ, Manila Ninoy Aquino Int'l), has deferred plans to go public from 2017 to the first quarter of 2018.

Airline CEO Joy Caneba told reporters in Manila last week that the newly created firm would initially boost its capital base from PHP2 billion (USD42.74 million) to PHP5 billion (USD106.9 million) through a series of cash calls the first of which is scheduled for 2016. New potential investors are also being sought out to join Filipino partners Alfredo Yao, Marianne Hontiveros, Antonio Cojuangco Jr., and Michael Romero.

The funds would then be used to lease five more A320-200s from AirAsia's leasing unit, Asia Aviation Capital (AAC), with the added capacity to be used to open up more routes to Taiwan, South Korea, and China. Only once the carrier has secured its market presence in the Philippines would it then pursue an IPO, Caneba said. In all the LCC hopes to raise upwards of USD200 million from the sale of a 30% stake though this could change in the following months Caneba added.

While the Philippine Securities and Exchange Commission as well as the Civil Aeronautics Board have already given their consent to formation of Philippines Air Asia, it is uncertain when the two carriers will transition to a single, unified Air Operators Certificate (AOC).