Zest Air firms Triple Seven

To Fly Bahrain and Dammam

February 17, 2011

Zest Airways is bent to fly an all-economy Boeing Triple Seven to the Middle East by third quarter of this year if the Chief Executive Officer has its way.

"We are negotiating with the lessors and we already applied for the rights to fly there" says Alfredo Yao, on the Boeing 777-200 plane, as it expects rise in passenger volume and growth in traffic which the International Air Transport Association (IATA) projects the Philippine domestic travel market to grow by 10.2 percent every year on average until 2014.

Zest Air is expecting delivery of two brand new Airbus 320's from Toulouse in April as part of its fleet expansion which comprises six Airbus 320's and four Modern Ark 60s. It recently bought an Airbus 320 and leased another one in December last year.

Yao said that they planned to end the year with at least 10 Airbuses as it expects revenues to rise significantly this year as it beefs up fleet and increases flights.

Already, the airline has posted a 40.98% growth in domestic flight passengers to 1.23 million from 872,223.

“We are looking at over 2.5 million passengers this year from around 1.5 million passengers we handled in 2010,” Yao said.

The airline will launch regular daily flights between Kalibo and Beijing by the end of February or early March, and looks for Taipei, Palau, Singapore, Bahrain and Dammam as its future destinations.

“For the meantime, we will be focusing on China. We want to get at least a portion of tourists coming out of China,” says Yao of the 50 million tourists the country has.

He said flights from Kalibo to Incheon, Korea and Shanghai were getting good load factors.

“We are also expecting a boost in revenues to P7 billion to P8 billion this year as a result of our continued expansion locally and regionally.” added Yao.

Last year alone, domestic passenger traffic grew by 12.27 percent, according to the Civil Aeronautics Board. More than 16.5 million people were on domestic flights for the year, higher than 14.75 million in 2009.

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