CAAP puts Zest Air under 'heightened surveillance'

By Lawrence Agcaoili, The Philippine Star

Posted at Aug 03 2013 08:52 AM | Updated as of Aug 03 2013 04:52 PM

MANILA, Philippines - The Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) has put Zest Airways Inc. under "heightened surveillance" due to several flight cancellations over the past few weeks.

John Andrews, CAAP deputy director general said in a text message that aviation officials are closely watching the operations of Zest Air due to flight cancellations due to mechanical problems over the past few weeks.

“Yes they are on heightened surveillance over cancelled flights,” Andrews said.

Yesterday alone, about six flights of Zest Air were cancelled due to “aircraft situation.” In July, Zest Air cancelled a total of 33 flights.

According to the CAAP official, the regulator would monitor the maintenance program of Zest Air. “We will have to check them before they are sanctioned,” Andrews added.

Zest Air has a fleet of 10 Airbus A320 and one A319 serving nine domestic destinations and five international routes via the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) as well as hubs in Kalibo and Cebu.

The airline flies to Shanghai, Jinjiang, Incheon, Kota Kinabalu, and Kuala Lumpur as well as Bacolod, Cagayan de Oro, Cebu, Davao, Iloilo, Kalibo, Puerto Princesa, Tacloban, and Tagbilaran.

Last May, low cost carrier giant AirAsia Berhad of Malaysia through local arm Philippines’ AirAsia Inc. completed a deal entered into two months ago with Zest Air.

AirAsia that controls 40 percent of Philippines’ AirAsia has acquired an 85 percent economic interest and 49 percent voting rights in ZestAir as well as a 100 percent interest in Yao’s Asiawide Airways Inc.