Zest Air Post Biggest Surprise

Registers 179% Growth

November 28, 2009

Manila - Zest Airways managed to pull the biggest surprise in the Philippine aviation market as it registers unprecedented growth in the domestic market that grew by nearly a third in the first nine months of the year, data from the Civil Aeronautics Board(CAB) said.

"The biggest surprise we have is the Alfredo Yao headed airline which registered an unprecedented growth rate of almost 200 percent and it seems that they may as yet exceed that expectation considering that the figures we have is only for the first three quarters" Porvenir Porciuncula, CAB deputy executive director said.

According to the CAB data, domestic air passengers rose by 29.5 percent to 11.09 million at end-September compared with the 8.57 million in the same period last year.

"It means they are either growing too fast or started eating the market share of others" Porciuncula added.

Cebu Pacific (CEB) remained the leading domestic airline in the country as of the third quarter, having carried more passengers at the end of September at 5.3 million, up 35.9 percent from 3.9 million last year.

Philippine Airlines (PAL) on the other hand flew more than CEB at 4.6 million passengers, up 36 percent more from 3.4 million last year.

But Zest Airways (RIT) passenger count jumped 179 percent to 859,544 passengers from last year’s 308,035 passengers.

The biggest loser was Air Philippines (GAP) with traffic dropped at -59 percent to 320,651 from last year’s 781,437 figures.

Southeast Asian Airlines (SEAIR) also recorded a -37.8 percent decline in its passengers having flown only 127,600 from last year’s 175,842.

"From the data we gathered it seems that Zest Air already took 10.2 percent from the other players most of it coming from Air Philippines" He said.

Zest Air is now considered by CAB as the third biggest airline in the Philippines next to Cebu Pacific and Philippine Airlines. It is followed next by Air Philippines and Seair in that order.

CAB also reported that the industry’s load factor, which is equivalent to the number of seats occupied during the third quarter went up to 78.6 percent from the 77 percent in the same period in 2008 fueled by aggressive promotional offers.

The total number of seats of the five domestic airlines reached 14.11 million as compared to last year’s 11.07 million. Porciuncula expects domestic air travel to grow between 10-12 percent this year.

Cargo however is still down. Statistics from CAB also showed that air cargo carried by airlines dropped 1 percent to 100.4 million kilograms from 101.4 million in the same nine-month period as compared to the figures last year.

Data indicate that of the total freight, PAL carried 44.6 million kilograms; Air Philippines, 805,913; Cebu Pacific, 52.3 million; SEAIR, 268,902; and Pacific East Asia Cargo, 2.6 million. No data was available for Zest Air.

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