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Cebu Pacific, Zest Air seek Papua New Guinea route

- Lawrence Agcaoili (The Philippine Star) - July 16, 2012 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Budget airlines Cebu Air Inc. of taipan John Gokongwei and Zest Airways Inc. of Amb. Alfredo Yao are seeking the go-signal from the Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) to fly to Papua New Guinea.

The CAB is set to hear the consolidated application of Cebu Air, which operates under the Cebu Pacific brand, and Zest Air for designation as official Philippine carrier and allocation of entitlements to Papua New Guinea on July 24.

The low cost carriers are seeking 540 seat entitlements each.

The CAB is mandated by Republic Act 776, as amended by Presidential Decree 1462, to regulate, promote, and develop the economic aspect of air transportation in the Philippines and ensure that existing policies are adapted to the present and future air commerce of the Philippines.

The law also vests supervision, jurisdiction, and control over all carriers engaged in air commerce in the Philippines as well as their property, equipment, franchise and facilities.

“Pursuant to the provisions under RA 776, as amended, notice is hereby given that Cebu Pacific and Zest Air have filed with the CAB their respective petitions for designation as official Philippine carrier and allocation of entitlements to Papua New Guinea under Route 1 in accordance to the existing Confidential Memorandum of Understanding,” CAB hearing officer Maria Cecilia Cawilan stated in a notice of hearing.

The Philippines and Papua New Guinea agreed to increase flight entitlements between the two countries in August last year. The amended air services agreement increased entitlements to 600 seats per week from the previous 150 seat per week.

Likewise, a new route was also agreed for all airports outside Manila at 1,500 seats per week to help meet the growing tourism between the Philippines and Papua New Guinea.

Cebu Pacific currently operates 10 Airbus A319, 20 Airbus A320 and eight ATR-72 500 aircraft. Its fleet of 38 aircraft – with an average age of 3.6 years – is one of the youngest aircraft fleets in Asia.

On the other hand, ZestAir was established in September 2008 after the former Asian Spirit was taken over by the Yao Group through AMY Holdings Corp.

The airline operates nine Airbus A320, one Airbus A319 and three MA60 aircraft.

AIR ALFREDO YAO ASIAN SPIRIT CEBU AIR CEBU AIR INC CEBU PACIFIC CEBU PACIFIC AND ZEST AIR CIVIL AERONAUTICS BOARD CONFIDENTIAL MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING PAPUA NEW GUINEA PHILIPPINES AND PAPUA NEW GUINEA
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