Philippines AirAsia (Z2, Manila Ninoy Aquino Int'l) has deferred its planned Initial Public Offering (IPO) due to the uncertainty and losses caused by the COVID-19 epidemic.

"So far, we didn't revisit that IPO right now. It's still there in the planning, but the more pressing matter is how to recover immediate losses from China," Chief Executive Ricardo Isla told The Inquirer newspaper.

The Filipino unit of AirAsia Group was hoping to raise as much as USD200 million from the listing which it had planned to hold in late 2020 or early 2021.

Isla added that the LCC had "big targets" for growth in 2020 after posting a PHP1.87 billion peso (USD37 million) net profit in 2019. However, the epidemic, in particular travel bans concerning flights to China and South Korea, will have a substantial impact on the carrier.

"It looks like [growth] is not going to happen. We have to revisit [the target], and we have to review. We have to be practical also," he added.

Philippines AirAsia would become the sixth stock listed unit of AirAsia Group after AirAsia, AirAsia X, Indonesia AirAsia, and Asia Aviation PLC (the parent of Thai AirAsia and Thai AirAsia X).