Zest-O, Zest Airways look to expand in China, SE Asia

By Marianne V. Go, The Philippine Star

Posted at Nov 08 2011 08:20 AM | Updated as of Nov 08 2011 04:20 PM

MANILA, Philippines - Zest-O Corp. and Zest Airways Inc., the beverage and airline units of the Yao Group of Companies, are looking at China and the Southeast Asian region for further growth and expansion in the next three years.

In an interview with newsmen over the weekend, Amb. Alfredo M. Yao, Zest-O chairman and chief executive officer and concurrent president and CEO of Zest Air, said they are eyeing to further expand in China and Southeast Asia.

For Zest-O, Yao said they are studying to expand its various food and beverage products in China and Indonesia.

Zest-O manufactures the famous Zest-O doy-pack juices as well as SunGlo and Quick Chow noodles.

Yao said they are already constructing a plant in Indonesia but did not reveal how much they are investing for this facility.

Yao had a previous tie-up with Indonesian firm PT Kalbe Farma to bring in the energy booster drink Extra Joss to the Philippines.

For Zest Air, Yao said the airline’s purchase and lease of several new Airbus 320 airplanes is geared towards serving more tourists from China and ASEAN particularly to the prime tourist destination of Boracay.

However, Yao said Zest Air also hopes to develop tourist spots in Bohol, Cebu and Palawan by offering more flights to those destinations.

Yao said Zest Air is also eyeing flights to Beijing, Chengdu, Shanghai and Xian.

In other Asian destinations, Zest Air is also set to launch flights to Busan and Incheon in South Korea, and is applying for permission to fly to Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia; Ho Chi Minh in Vietnam and to Singapore.

Zest Air is taking delivery of three Airbus 320s this year and another three next year, Yao said. Zest Air owns about six of the Airbus but will lease another three.

Each Airbus 320, Yao said, cost between $40 million to $45 million.