MANILA, Philippines - Zest Airways Inc., the airline owned by juice drink magnate Alfred Yao, is preparing for a relaunch by the fourth quarter of the year.
Alfredo Herrera, Zest Air chief marketing and sales officer, said the airline is working on a new business model partly influenced by the low cost carrier model.
"By the last quarter of this year, something really different is going to happen. Whatever model we will evolve into is going to be a consumer driven model. We will make it easy for consumers. At the same time, we have got to emulate how the LCC operates in terms of cost. The evolution now is a hybrid model," he said.
Even the Zest Air brand will get a "fresh" update. "We will refresh the branding, do a couple of things like maybe change the color but we won't change the brand name," he said.
Last year, Zest Air flew 2.3 million passengers, of which 2.1 million are domestic passengers.
Zest Air is gearing for its international flights this year. Among its international destinations are Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; Shanghai, China; Incheon, South Korea; and Taipei in Taiwan.
"The mix of our passenger traffic last year was 80 percent for domestic and 20 percent for international. Our plan is to bring it to 50:50," said Herrera.
For South Korea, Zest Air has over 27 flights and will add 4 to 5 more by the third quarter of the year. "We have the most number of frequencies in the country regardless of points out of the Philippines," he said.
Zest Air already mounts flights to Incheon and Busan in South Korea, Shanghai and Beijing in China and Taipei, Taiwan from the Kalibo or Cebu International airports.
The airline is also planning to launch a direct flight to the Middle East and Australia in the future. It will also resume its flights to Hong Kong and will open a new Singapore route, using an A320.