CAAP clears ZestAir fleet; airline operation back to normal
Lawrence Agcaoili (The Philippine Star) - August 24, 2013 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - The Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) has released all 11 aircraft of Zest Airways Inc. two days after it lifted the suspension of the budget airline’s permit to fly.

ZestAir director Joy Caneba yesterday said their airline operation is slowly going back to normal after CAAP reinstated its Airline Operator’s Certificate (AOC) last Monday evening.

Caneba said all the aircraft of the airline – consisting of 10 Airbus A320 and one A319 – have been released after passing the airworthiness inspection conducted by CAAP’s Flight Standards Inspectorate Service (FSIS).

“We are about 82 percent of our normal schedule,” she said.

The airline yesterday resumed operation of 50 domestic flights as well as three international flights to Incheon and Kuala Lumpur.

Last Tuesday, CAAP acting head John Andrews announced that the permit to fly of ZestAir had been reinstated after the airline successfully complied with all six safety issues raised by aviation aircraft inspectors.

CAAP issued an order last Aug. 16 grounding the fleet of ZestAir due to six aviation safety concerns in violation of the Philippine Civil Aviation Regulation (PCAR).

Violations include the absence of an accountable manager; failure to check aircraft logs, flight manifest and weather, among others; failure to present to authorities the airman license (aircraft mechanic license) during ramp inspection; series of occurrences that affected flight operations; refueling with passengers onboard, and excessive flight duty time for pilots.

The low-cost carrier was placed under heightened surveillance last July 31 due to the cancellation of several flights last month.

ZestAir lost at least P70 million worth of revenues for every day that it was suspended and affected at least 7,600 passengers daily.

The lifting of the suspension came after Andrews met with ZestAir president and chief executive officer Alfredo Yao last Monday.

Andrews described the meeting as “fruitful” as ZestAir vowed to comply with the issues that caused the suspension of the airline’s permit to fly.

Caneba earlier said the lifting of the suspension of the airline’s permit to fly is a testament that the low-cost carrier is indeed compliant with aviation safety regulations.

Last May 10, Philippines’ AirAsia Inc. completed a deal entered with ZestAir in March.

Philippines’ AirAsia 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.

In exchange, Yao’s ZestAir got $16 million as well as 13 percent interest in Philippines’ AirAsia that is currently based at the Clark International Airport in Pampanga.

ZestAir is controlled by Yao through AMCY Holdings while AirAsia Group through chief executive officer Tony Fernandes has a 40 percent interest in Philippines’ AirAsia with Antonio Cojuangco Jr., Michael Romero and Marianne Hontiveros owning 20 percent each.

 

AIRLINE AIRLINE OPERATOR ALFREDO YAO ANTONIO COJUANGCO JR. ASIAWIDE AIRWAYS INC CANEBA CIVIL AVIATION AUTHORITY OF THE PHILIPPINES CLARK INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT YAO ZESTAIR
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