The long-awaited initial public offering (IPO) of Philippines AirAsia may not happen this year, Tony Fernandes, CEO of AirAsia Group, told reporters on the sidelines of the group’s Asean Day celebrations in Bangkok. He said he was still in wait-and-see mode regarding the Philippine unit's bid to go public and wanted it to increase its value first.

“It’s there, but with no particular rush to be honest. We want to maximise the valuation, so you know after a very tough start our earnings are very strong, the fuel price is going down, tourism is going up. We also see potential in new airports being developed,” he explained at the group’s launch of its Sustainable Asean livery, as quoted by the daily newspaper Business Mirror.

“So there is no particular rush but we can do it anytime now. We will just wait and see. All I can tell you from a management point of view [is] we don’t need to do it. But I’ll leave that to the experts.”

Plans for the group to list some of its South-East Asian units go back at least to 2016, but volatile markets and a previously weak financial performance kept pushing it back. However, in early May 2019, Fernandes told local media: “We’re getting close. Hopefully, we can do it this year.”

Philippines AirAsia posted a first-quarter EBITDA this year of PHP450 million (USD8.58 million) on the back of record-high revenues of PHP6.68 billion (USD127 million), The Manila Times reported.