AirAsia Zest said that it is expecting delivery of another A320 aircraft before the end of the year.
“The current fleet is 13 aircraft but we are expecting a delivery of another aircraft, so by the end of the year we will have 14 operating aircraft of AirAsia Zest, all A320s,” said Joy Caneba, newly-appointed executive vice president and chief operating officer of AirAsia Zest.
She added that, “We definitely expect an increase and improve-ment in passenger traffic. Zest had a very good brand but I think with the AirAsia name backing it up, the world’s known low cost carrier, I think that will give more leverage and comfort for the passengers.”
The low-cost carrier said that it is expecting a growth in traffic both from domestic and international routes.
“For 2013, we expect an increase of at least 15 percent to 20 percent from our current number,” Caneba said.
On October 21, the carrier will hold a formal launching of the brand—the AirAsia Zest.
In March 2013, Air Asia Philippines and Zest Airways signed a strategic partnership.
Under the agreement, AirAsia would acquire a 49-percent stake in Zest Air and 100 percent in Asiawide Airways—both under the Zest Air Group.
Philippines’ AirAsia holds a 49-percent stake in Zest Air, a low-cost carrier operating from the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.
Earlier, Marianne Hontiveros, chief executive officer of Philip-pines’ AirAsia said that, “Right now, we need to focus our resources to support Zest Air where we have significant economic interest, and we believe in Zest Air’s potential with their Manila based operations.”
The AirAsia Group consists of existing operations in Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Japan and the Philippines. With India to follow, AirAsia becomes the largest Asian low-cost carrier, with a combined fleet of 120 aircraft plus over 350 more on order, and operating over 158 routes spread across 18 countries, of which 56 routes are unique.
Rosalie C. Periabras