Asian Spirit was established in 1995 by three friends who contributed $1 million each to start up the Airline Employees Cooperative (AEC).
It started operations in 1996 servicing only one scheduled commercial route with two flights per day from Manila to Malay, serving the fledging resort island of Boracay. In 1997, the cooperative changed to a corporate set-up with the establishment of Asian Spirit, Inc.,
In 2003 Asian Spirit became the Philippines’ fourth flag carrier after Philippine Airlines, Cebu Pacific and Air Philippines. Asian Spirit was sold to AMY Holdings in March 2008. In September 2008, Asian Spirit officially announced that it will be re-branding itself as Zest Airways.