Adds Five new Jets to its fleet
March 18, 2009
March 18, 2009
Los Angeles, CA. - Zest Airways, Inc., formerly Asian Spirit, is investing $150 million more this year for the acquisition of five brand new aircraft to beef up its existing seven aircraft as the company adds new local destinations and regional routes.
The Zest-O group of companies, owned by businessman Alfredo Yao, acquired Asian Spirit, a small airline company based in the Philippines last year, and is carrying out an aggressive expansion program amid worldwide economic downturn.
The airline seeks to have 3 brand new Airbus 320 and 2 Boeing 767-300 aircraft as part of its second wave of expansion that will bring Zest Air fleet to 11 aircraft by yearend, flying major tourist destination areas in the country. The investment is on top of the $170 million capital expenditure made last year by the company.
Chairman Alfred Yao is anticipating a business boom in the tourism industry within the next two years. He cited the advantages of the Philippines as a regional tourist destination. He said that it’s cheaper for tourists coming from China, Korea and Japan to travel to the Philippines than to the USA and Europe. ‘Within the year the company is expected to launch its regional routes that may include Hong Kong, Macau, Beijing, Xiamen, Kota Kinabalu, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore and Japan" he said.
Donald Dee, president of Zest Airways, Inc. said the new airbuses will be serving existing and new destinations. The Boeing planes will service the Middle East and Australian market. ‘We have a good fighting chance, we are competing head-on already with the two big market players for Caticlan and Cebu" Dee added.
Zest Air currently flies to Caticlan, Busuanga, Calbayog, Catarman, Marinduque, San Jose and Virac from Manila. It started flying new routes to Iloilo, Legaspi, Naga, Puerto Princesa, Davao, Kalibo, Tacloban and Tagbilaran.
Zest Air application for rights to fly the Middle East, particularly Kuwait and UAE is pending approval by foreign governments while its request to fly to Australia is currently applied following new bilateral agreement between Australia and the Philippines.