PHILIPPINES AirAsia, Inc. is hoping to pursue its plan to undergo public listing in the local bourse before the year ends.

AirAsia Group Chief Executive Officer Anthony Francis “Tony” Fernandes told reporters on the sidelines of Thursday’s Tourism Summit the company is preparing to raise “far greater” than $200 million for its initial public offering (IPO) in the Philippines soon.

“We’re moving in the right direction. Number one, the company is doing very well. We had a big board meeting today which tackled a lot of issues. And we had one more thing to solve with the board, and then I think we are ready to do an IPO,” he said.

“I’ve been saying it for a few years. But we are getting close. Hopefully we can do it this year,” he added.

The company first revealed its plans to launch its IPO in the country in 2016, but has been postponed several times.

Mr. Fernandes said AirAsia Philippines is “doing extremely well at the moment,” and once it conducts the IPO, the company is likely to prepare a float “far greater” than the numbers used in the past.

AirAsia has units in Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand that are all listed in its respective bourses. The Philippines would be the last of its ASEAN units to conduct an IPO.

Mr. Fernandes earlier said once all AirAsia units are listed, he wants to swap all the shares of AirAsia Group in the respective companies into one company.

In the first quarter, AirAsia Philippines increased its capacity by 17% to 2.16 million passengers, and was able to carry 1.97 million passengers during the period, up 23% from in 2018. — Denise A. Valdez