Zest Air Bids MA-60 Goodbye as they become Air Asia

Turboprop routes axed

April 5, 2013
Busuanga, Masbate, Marinduque and Tablas will be delisted from the airlines route network effective May 11, 2013, after the airline's management was transferred to Air Asia Philippines (AAP) group, a subsidiary of Malaysia-based Air Asia Berhad. Zest Air said that they will return the aircraft to the aircraft lessor in China. Landing slots for these aircraft will be replace by Airbus 320's for services to Cagayan de Oro, Bacolod and Zamboanga. The airline will introduce more A320s to the fleet ordered by AAP to be painted soon in Air Asia colours.


  1. Now things are shaping up in RP aviation industry. From the original 6, it is now down to 4 airlines: PAL group (PR & 2P), 5J, Air Asia Phil & Tiger Airways (Seair). As things heat up, who will emerge the winner? Who will be the next to fold its wings?

  2. Cebu Pacific will continue to be the market leader as they are far too ahead for any of the other LCC's to catch up at this point. Of all the airlines, Cebu Pacific is the only one reporting a profit at present.

    Does anyone know the original source of this information about Zest? Is it definite that Bacolod will be one of the new destinations and will it be operated by Zest Air or Air Asia Philippines? Or will Zest be operating aircraft painted as Air Asia Philippines?

    By: Darwin G. Amojelar

    The Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) has approved Zest Air's bid to abandon flights to Marinduque, Masbate, Busuanga and Tablas.

    Wyrlou Samodio, CAB legal division head, said the regulator approved the suspension of flights because of "safety concerns" of the MA60 aircraft, not to mention the "profitability issues " of those routes.

    Representatives of Zest Airways Inc were unavailable for comment.

    With Zest Air giving up those routes, CAB has invited other airlines to take over, Samodio said.

    "We are now awaiting response from Cebu Pacific, PAL, Seair and PAL Express," he said.

    Zest Air senior vice president for external affairs Butch Rodriguez earlier said the airline was abandoning the said routes because of high operating costs and numerous technical issues hounding the operations of the MA60 aircraft.

    "The management of Zest Air has no other recourse but to suspend all the routes being serviced by the said aircraft which include mostly secondary gateways Marinduque, Masbate, Busuanga and Tablas," Rodriguez had said.

    Zest Air's move to abandon its small aircraft came after 49 percent of the homegrown carrier was acquired by the Philippine unit of Southeast Asia's largest low-cost carrier, Air Asia.