Closed counters greet Zest Air passengers

MANILA, Philippines - Closed counters greeted Zest Air passengers leaving for their provinces at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 4 on Saturday, August 17.

This was after the low-budget carrier’s operations were suspended by the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) on Friday, August 16 due to safety violations.

CAAP deputy general John Andrews told Zest Air in the letter of suspension, "This agency is alarmed of Zest Air's series of serious deviations and infractions of the rules and standards prescribed under the Philippine Civil Aviation Regulations (PCAR).”

The suspension covers both domestic and international flights.

Zest Air flies to Bacolod, Cagayan de Oro, Cebu, Davao, Iloilo, Kalibo, Puerto Princesa, Tacloban, and Tagbilaran. Its international destinations include Shanghai, Jinjiang, Incheon, Kota Kinabalu, and Kuala Lumpur.

Issues addressed?

NO FLIGHTS. Zest Air's fleet of A320s are parked in NAIA Terminal 4 following CAAP's suspension. Photo by Rappler

NO FLIGHTS. Zest Air's fleet of A320s are parked in NAIA Terminal 4 following CAAP's suspension.

Photo by Rappler

In a statement on Saturday, August 17, Zest Air insisted that its 11 aircrafts are “safe and worthy.”

"The management of Zest Air have been in full cooperation with CAAP in ensuring that the maintenance programs and policies of ZestAir are in place. All findings in CAAP’s letter have already been appropriately addressed and we believe that they do not merit suspension and grounding of our operations,” Zest Air management claimed.

The Philippines is working to get upgraded by the US Federal Aviation Authority (US FAA) back to Category 1 status. This is the next goal following the decision of the European Union to remove the Philippines from its aviation safety blacklist, CAAP said.

Zest Air has not yet issued a statement for passengers who have booked flights.-Rappler.com