AirAsia PHL names new chairman

BUSINESS
September 4, 2019

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ORGANIZATIONAL changes continue for Philippines AirAsia, Inc. as the budget carrier announced over the weekend the appointment of corporate lawyer Joseph Omar A. Castillo as the new chairman of the board.
    
“We’re delighted to welcome Atty. Castillo as Chairman of the Board during this period of exciting growth for AirAsia,” AirAsia Group Executive Chairman Datuk Kamarudin said in a statement.
    
“Atty. Castillo brings a wealth of experience and strategic vision to the airline business, and we are confident that the company will continue to thrive under his leadership,” he added.
    
Mr. Castillo is replacing Marianne B. Hontiveros who held the post since 2014. Ms. Hontiveros was also chief executive officer and part owner of AirAsia Philippines.
    
The appointment of Mr. Castillo took effect yesterday. He joined the AirAsia Philippines board of directors earlier this year, and previously worked at private law firm Puyat, Jacinto & Santos (PJS) Law, where he led its transport and business process outsourcing practices and focused on labor relations, contract support, immigration and corporate fraud.
    
Prior to joining PJS Law, Mr. Castillo was part of Angara Abello Concepcion Regala & Cruz (ACCRA) Law Offices and the Baker McKenzie law firm. He was also vice-president for Downstream Operations of the PNOC-Exploration Corp. from 2011 to 2013.
    
He earned his law degree from the Ateneo de Manila University in 1997 and his bachelor’s degree in Business Management from the same university in 1993.
    
AirAsia Philippines also appointed a new chief executive officer, Ricardo “Ricky” P. Isla, replacing Dexter M. Comendador. Mr. Comendador was appointed chief operating officer.
    
Last June, the carrier likewise announced a change in ownership with the transfer of majority shares to businessman Michael L. Romero’s F&S Holdings, Inc., which now owns 44.4% of AirAsia Philippines.
    
Ms. Hontiveros and Zest-O Corp. Founder Alfredo M. Yao sold each of their 15.7% shares in the airline to F&S Holdings, leaving the remaining owners Antonio “Tony Boy” Conjuangco with 15.7% shares and Malaysia AirAsia International Ltd. with 39.9%.
    
AirAsia Philippines posted a profit of P593.07 million in the second quarter, surging 777% from last year due to a growth in passenger volume and ancillary revenues. It is aiming to swing to profit by yearend with a revenue target of P30 billion.
    
The budget carrier is also planning to launch an initial public offering before the end of the year.

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