Zest set to expand Indonesia services

By Lorenz S. Marasigan, BusinessMirror

Posted at Jun 26 2014 07:56 AM | Updated as of Jun 26 2014 03:56 PM

MANILA - Budget carrier operator Zest Airways Inc. is looking at expanding its operations to Indonesia.

AirAsia Zest Chairman Marianne M. Hontiveros said in an interview that Indonesia is an exciting destination for her airline, noting that the country has a lot of potential for both business and tourism.

Indonesia destinations that AirAsia Zest eyes are Jakarta, Bali and Bandung. Hontiveros said Jakarta has a good potential for both the leisure and business travelers.

For the tourism market, “Bali and Bandung are interesting. There’s a lot of places there that will attract tourists,” the executive said.

AirAsia Zest flies to 20 local destinations from Manila, Clark (Pampanga) and Kalibo (Aklan). It also flies from Manila to Incheon and Pusan in South Korea, Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia, Shanghai and Jinjian City in China, Macau, and Taipei in Taiwan.

At present, only Philippine Airlines and Cebu Pacific mount flights to destinations in Indonesia.

Civil Aeronautics Board Executive Director Carmelo L. Arcilla said the country’s air-services regulator is considering holding negotiations with its Indonesian counterpart to expand the countries’ decades-old air pact.

He said his agency will seek talks with the Indonesian Directorate General of Civil Aviation to update the current air-services agreement with the nation signed in 1972.

“Our previous request was overtaken by time. We will propose to hold air talks sometime in the third quarter,” he said.