Hundreds of ZestAir passengers were stranded on Saturday at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport following a suspension order from the Civil Aviation Aircraft Authority of the Philippines (CAAP).
Passengers have been told to wait since Friday as the airline management negotiated with other airlines to book their passengers.
ZestAir said the suspension was sudden.
“We are surprised that this [suspension order]was released without giving us an opportunity to properly respond to the issues they raised. The management of ZestAir has been in full cooperation with CAAP in ensuring that the maintenance programs and policies of ZestAir are in place,” the company said in a statement.
It added that “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. We will never risk the safety of our passengers.”
In the past weeks, ZestAir voluntarily stopped its operations to ensure that any issues discovered by CAAP are rectified or properly addressed.
“CAAP instructors have confirmed that no maintenance procedural lapses were committed and that the aircraft concerned is not subject to any technical problems,” it said, referring to the suspension of flights from Taipei to Kalibo, Aklan.
ZestAir also denied reports that one of their mechanics did not possess a valid license and that their pilots and crew exceeded flying hours.
The management added that they would submit a copy of the comprehensive improvement program, which they implement to provide their passengers improved experience, product, and services.
The CAAP grounded ZestAir planes because of several infractions including the absence of a qualified accountable manager, failure to complete checks, and incidents that impacted flight operations.