Zest Air eyes DMIA as hub for int’l flights

August 3, 2009

Budget airline Zest Airways Inc. (Zest Air) intends to make the Diosdado Macapagal International Airport (DMIA) in Clark its hub for its international flights starting September this year.

Victor Jose I. Luciano, president and CEO of the Clark International Airport Corp. said that Zest Air will start its commercial flights in DMIA in September this year.

At present, Zest Air’s domestic flights are based at the old domestic airport in Manila except for one flight in Clark for Caticlan.

The airline also plans to mount flights to Hong Kong, Incheon in South Korea, Macau, Xiamen and Shanghai in China and Bangkok in Thailand.

Zest Air’s 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.

Zest Air would be able to mount international flights with the starting delivery of two brand new Airbus 320 in October this year.

This is in addition to the first A-320 it purchased earlier. The company is also buying 2 Boeing 767-300 aircraft to bring its total fleet to 11 aircraft by yearend, flying to major tourist destinations in the country.

This is part of the $150 million second wave of capital expansion. Last year, the company invested $170 million.

At present, Zest Air 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.

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. (BCM)

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