CAAP restores airworthy stamp on ZestAir planes

The Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) late Wednesday released all 11 airplanes of Zest Airways Inc. after passing the airworthiness inspection by the government's Flight Standards Inspectorate Service (FSIS), the airline said Thursday.

The release came days after CAAP lifted the suspension order on the budget airline’s permit to fly.

Operations are slowly going back to normal after CAAP reinstated its Airline Operator’s Certificate (AOC) last Monday evening, ZestAir director Joy Caneba said. “We are about 82 percent of our normal schedule,” Caneba noted.

The 10 Airbus A320 and one A319 were released after passing the CAAP FSIS airworthiness inspection, she said.

On Thursday, ZestAir mounted 50 domestic flights and three international flights — to Incheon and Kuala Lumpur.

ZestAir lost its AOC on Aug. 16 after CAAP inspectors discovered aviation safety concerns against the Philippine Civil Aviation Regulation (PCAR).

Last Tuesday, CAAP acting head John Andrews announced that the permit to fly of ZestAir has been reinstated after the airline successfully complied with all six safety issues raised by aviation aircraft inspectors.

The violations include the absence of an accountable manager; failure to check aircraft logs, flight manifest and weather; failure to present an aircraft mechanic license during ramp inspection; series of occurrences that affected flight operations; refueling with passengers onboard; and excessive flight time duty for pilots.

According to the airline, it was incurring at least P70 million in unrealized revenues for each day it was suspended. — VS, GMA