Zest Air claims planes ‘safe, airworthy’, surprised over suspension



MANILA, Philippines – Zest Air assured aviation authorities on Saturday that all its aircraft were “safe and airworthy” and expressed surprise at its suspension without being given an opportunity “to properly respond to their issues raised”.

The assurance came a day after the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) grounded the budget carrier due to a series of safety breaches, including refuelling with passengers on board.

“In response to the order of suspension from CAAP, we are surprised that this was issued without giving us an opportunity to properly respond to their issues raised,” the Zest Air management said in an e-mailed statement.

The CAAP, through Captain John Andrews, its deputy director general, cited a report by its inspectors which showed Zest Air’s continuing violations on air safety standards ranging from the absence of a qualified accountable manager to excessive flight duty time.

In the same statement, however, the management of Zest Air said that it has been “in full cooperation with CAAP in ensuring that the maintenance programs and policies of Zest Air 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 said.

“We wish to highlight and reiterate that all eleven (11) aircraft are safe and airworthy.  We will never risk the safety of our passengers.  The reason why management in the past weeks have decided to voluntarily stop our aircraft from flying is to proactively ensure that any issues discovered, are rectified or properly addressed before we use the aircraft for commercial operations,” it said.

“With due respect to CAAP, our reports on how we addressed the incident in Kalibo reflected this and is confirmed by CAAP inspectors that no maintenance procedural lapses were committed and that the aircraft concerned is not subject to any technical problems,” it said, referring to one of its planes that undershot the runway as it was about to land in Caticlan airport in Aklan in January 2009. A passenger and few airport personnel were injured in the incident that also forced the closure of the airport for more than five hours.

“The incident in Tagbilaran would have been addressed sooner had we not been required to have the maintenance rectification inspected by CAAP personnel.  It is unfortunate that Tagbilaran airport has only one runway and ramp, and this is the reason why the incident snowballed to have affected so many passengers,” it said after its Airbus 320, experiencing technical problems, obstructed the runway.

Zest Air also said that it has an accountable manager – Ambassador Alfredo M. Yao – President and Chief Executive Officer of Zest Air.

“In addition, all our mechanics have valid licenses to perform their jobs despite CAAP’s concern where one of our mechanics did not possess the license physically on him but was stored within the work area.  Furthermore, none of our pilots or crew are exceeding their duty time limitations,” it said.

Zest Air said it would be submitting a copy of the comprehensive improvement program currently being implemented “to provide our passengers an improved experience, product and services”.

“We have been investing significantly in our operations and fleet to further raise the standards of excellence across all aspects of personnel, parts, and maintenance/technical services,” it said.

Related Stories:
Zest Air suspended due to safety breaches

Airline black eye

Plane undershoots Caticlan runway

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Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this site do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of We reserve the right to exclude comments that we deem to be inconsistent with our editorial standards.

  • M C

    If my memory serves me right, aircrafts made by Airbus are tops in accidents and crashes. In their desire for larger market shares, there may have been some areas of their assembly that have been overlooked. That most local airlines have acquired Airbus aircrafts to show off that they are “modernized” at the expense of a more diligent and thorough inspection of the units based on trust in the name prior to acceptance may have been the culprit. Likewise, the airports that should be able to handle those more modern models may lack the sophisticated guidance or tracking systems required causing runway glitches. Moreover, compliance to inspection checklists might not work especially when the technical configuration of the aircraft is far more advanced and beyond the technical competence of CAAP personnel. Sometimes, wisdom dictates that more open and cooperative consultation may produce better results than outright suspension of flights which only creates a public and political backlash that backfires with unintended collateral damages.

  • Benjamin Flores

    okey lang masuspend yan…hindi biro yung madelay yung flights dahil sa technical problems, at bakit antayin paba natin na makasama tayung mamatay ….para sabihing e suspend na yan ….matagal nang naka high alert yan……so bakit na ulit so kulang kayo sa maintenanced …. e rectify nyo nalang then balik na ulit sa business …. hindi naman cancelled yan eh suspended lang para sa masa din yan…

  • delpillar

    Kung merong SULPICIO AIRLINES, kahit 5 major disasters na ang nangyari killing thousands of lives, DAHIL MAGALING MAMBUSAL ng LIMPAK-LIMPAK na salapi sa mga Pu-ta-ng nasa gobyerno ay for sure walang suspension na mangayayari.

    Kapag di ka nagbayad ng under the table, walang due process, isang pagkakamali ay tanggal kaagad or suspended kaagad licensya ng negosyo

  • sigena

    license sa locker. lolokohin mo pa mga pilipino

  • delpillar

    ganun talaga sa Pilipinas.
    Kapag di ka nagbayad ng tamang lagay, they will use doctored legal proceedings para magkalintek-lintek ang negosyo mo.

    Pero kapag nagbayad ka ng pambusal na limpak limpak na salapi sa bunganga ng mga nasa gobyerno, kahit ang cabin crews mo ay tatanga-tanga at nagkarron ng aksidente na walang professionalism ay di ka masususpinde.

  • kruger

    Another biased and unilateral action by someone who couldn’t wait to be the next Director General of the CAAP!…

  • tyurl

    I think it’s either CAAP applies two sets of standards or simply “money talks” as they say. Kasi ung CebPac na nagkaroon ng aksidente talaga tapos walang ginawang matino ang cabin crew di nasuspend??

  • rem1911

    Dapat pati Sea Air suspend din…

    • southDUDE

      On what grounds?

      • rem1911

        Sea Airs’s services suck, they will you leave you dry… they also have a lot of cases in ATO regarding passengers complaints.. sadly I’m one of their victim and my case against them is still pending…

      • southDUDE

        Okay, I wish you well in your complaint. Sear is now TigerAir Philippines, the local unit of TigerAir Singapore

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