ZestAir ups fuel surcharge on Phl-Korea flights
Lawrence Agcaoili (The Philippine Star) - April 6, 2013 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Zest Airways Group, jointly owned by businessman Alfredo Yao and Philippines’ AirAsia Inc., is set to jack up the fuel surcharge it imposes on passengers to Korea by as much as 46 percent on the back of rising price of aviation fuel in the world market.

In a petition before the Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB), ZestAir is seeking the green light to impose upward adjustment of fuel surcharge on its international passenger tickets to Korea to $66 per passenger from $45 per passenger.

The budget airline has flights between Manila and Incheon as well as Manila and Pusan.

The CAB allows airlines to impose fuel surcharge on international and domestic passengers as a temporary relief to help them recover losses arising from the increase in jet fuel prices in the world market.

Latest results of the Jet Fuel Price Monitor of the International Air Transportation Association (IATA) showed that the price of jet fuel averaged $127.2 per barrel as of March 15, nearing the full year target of $132.8 per barrel set by IATA.

Last month, Philippines’ AirAsia Inc. – the local arm of low cost carrier AirAsia Group of Malaysia – acquired a 49 percent stake in ZestAir.

Under the partnership, Philippines AirAsia would invest in the ZestAir Group by acquiring a 49 percent stake in Zest Airways and 100 percent in Asiawide Airways.

In turn, Yao would subscribe to shares in Philippines AirAsia. AirAsia Group already has a presence in the country through Philippines AirAsia Inc. Apart from AirAsia Group chief executive officer Tan Sri Tony Fernandes, the local airline is also owned by Antonio “Tonyboy” Cojuangco Jr., Michael Romero and Marianne Hontiveros with 20 percent each.

The investment in ZestAir Group would complement the strategies for future growth of Philippines AirAsia which operates out of Clark while ZestAir operates at the congested Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).

The investment in Philippine AirAsia aligns with the AirAsia Group’s business strategy with existing operations in Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Japan, and the Philippines as well as India making it the largest Asian low cost carrier.

The AirAsia Group has a fleet of over 120 aircraft and an additional 350 about to be delivered. It operates in 18 countries.

AIRASIA ALFREDO YAO AND PHILIPPINES ASIAWIDE AIRWAYS CIVIL AERONAUTICS BOARD COJUANGCO JR. FUEL GROUP GROUP OF MALAYSIA JET FUEL PRICE MONITOR OF THE INTERNATIONAL AIR TRANSPORTATION ASSOCIATION MANILA AND INCHEON
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