MANILA, Philippines – The suspension order that the aviation authorities slapped against Zest Air was costly for its investor, AirAsia Philippines.
The local unit of Asia’s budget airline giant will suspend most of its flights from its Clark hub in Pampanga after Zest Air suffered heavily from the suspension in August.
AirAsia Philippines CEO Maan Hontiveros said in an interview, the suspended flights will be:
- Davao flights – effective October 9
- Kalibo flights – October 9
- Taipei – October 6
- Hong Kong – October 6
The Hong Kong flights will resume on December 20.
“The reason for this is we need to support (Zest Air) financially and with as many resources as possible because they suffered greatly due to the suspension of CAAP (Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines),” said Hontiveros.
The CAAP suspended Zest Air’s Air Operators Certificate following a series of deviations and infractions, which Zest Air contested.
READ: CAAP suspends Zest Air for safety violations
Based on estimates, Zest Air’s foregone revenues during the 4-day suspension amounted to P70 million a day or roughly a total of P280 million.
“It suffered a lot of losses which also include recovery options that have to do with passengers such as hotel accommodations, penalty in China and Korea and not to forget the great damage to the brand of Zest Air because of public perception,” explained Hontiveros.
Hontiveros also said that Zest Air could utilize the aircraft, crew and other resources to help Zest Air recover. “At a meeting, we expressed financial support as well to Zest Air so it could recover fast.
Details of the financial support to be extended to Zest Air will have to be presented to the board next week, said Hontiveros.
She stressed that the group will keep its investment in Zest Air. “We have confidence that Zest Air is a worthy airline and a good investment for AirAsia Philippines,” added Hontiveros.
In March, AirAsia acquired 85% economic stake and 49% voting stake in Zest Air. In turn Zest Air owns a 15% stake in AirAsia Philippines.
Zest Air, which operates at its Manila hub, will go through a rebranding, which includes caring the AirAsia brand.
Previously, Airasia also reduced its flights from Clark to Taiwan, Kuala Lumpur, Hong Kong and Singapore. – Rappler.com