Zest Air losing P70M a day due to suspension

Rappler.com
Zest Air to appeal the suspension order Monday

GROUNDED. CAAP suspends Zest Air's permit to fly due to safety breaches. Photo by AFP

MANILA, Philippines – Since being handed an indefinite suspension on Friday, Zest Air claimed Sunday, August 18, it has been losing P70 million a day in revenues. 

Aside from stalled operations, Zest Air Director Josephine Joy Caneba told DZBB refunds and flight transfers for passengers are contributing to the losses.  

“Of course, our passengers are our main concern that is why we immediately undertook measures to minimize their inconvenience,” Caneba said. “We had to book them on other airlines and make arrangements for special chartered flights just to make sure they reach their destination. Our ground staff and personnel are on the job 24/7 to make sure all concerns are met.”

Zest Air has been offering full refunds or flight transfers for over 7,000 passengers daily since the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) suspended the airline on Friday over safety concerns. 

CAPP said Zest Air violated, among others, the rule requiring airlines to have an “accountable manager” who will ensure that operations are financed and at par with safety standards. 

In a statement on Saturday, Zest Air decried the decision and maintained that its 11 aircraft are “safe and airworthy.” The airline also insisted it has an accountable manager – its president and CEO Ambassador Alfredo Yao.” 

READ: Zest Air cries foul, claims planes are safe

Caneba said Zest Air was “shocked” and “surprised” by the sudden suspension, especially since it was handed on a Friday, giving them little room to adjust. 

Zest Air to appeal suspension

In a separate ANC report, Zest Air said it is set to file an appeal before the CAAP to lift the suspension order. 

Should their appeal not be granted, the airline said it would take the matter to the court and file a petition for a temporary restraining order. 

On August 2, CAAP placed Zest Air under “heightened” surveillance following a series of flight cancellations brought about by mechanical problems.

Zest Air cancelled 8 flights on August 1, and 9 on August 2 due to “aircraft situation.” In July, the carrier cancelled a total of 33 flights, mostly in Kalibo.

The airline said it voluntarily stopped operations a few weeks ago precisely to address and rectify safety issues.

The suspension order would only be lifted once Zest Air’s addresses all the safety issues, according to CAAP. – Rappler.com