Zest Air: Flights to Taipei Planned, Dubai Next

The founder of Zest Air, Alfredo Yao, has revealed that the budget airline plans to launch direct flights to Taipei as tensions ease between the Philippines and Taiwan.

zest air dubai
Image Source: Wikimedia
The airline believes that once tensions begin to subside, the passenger volume will continue to grow again. According to Yao, Zest Air plans to begin direct flights to Taipei by this coming November.

Zest Air previously had intentions to operate direct flights to Taiwan but was forced to postpone plans after an international dispute erupted between the Philippines and Taiwan over the shooting of a Taiwanese fisherman by the Philippine Coast Guard last May. The punitive sanctions that were imposed by the Taiwanese government forced Zest Air not only to postpone their plans but resulted in the cancellation of several Kalibo charter flights operated by Zest and other carriers.

The sanctions were lifted recently following an official apology to Taipei by the Philippine government. Zest Air resumed its charter service approximately one month ago. While details on the proposed direct flights were not offered, Yao indicated that Kalibo would be part of the plan. "We will come up with direct flights from Kalibo to Taipei and this will give better revenue," said Yao. He added that the airline would continue to service its existing charter clients in addition to the direct service.

Meanwhile, Yao revealed that the airline still has intentions to fly directly to Dubai and it plans to tap its new partner, Air Asia, to help get them off the ground. Yao suggested that the airline is keen to expand beyond the region and that the airline may operate the service in partnership with Air Asia through the carrier's long haul subsidiary, Air Asia X.

Malaysian-based Air Asia group owns a 40% stake in Air Asia Philippines which holds a 49% stake in Yao's Zest Air. Yao added that the airline is seeking areas outside the Asean region but did not provide specific details. "We're focusing on the tourism market," Yao said.


  1. This is very informative. These new flight schedules are pretty much impressive. It's nice to know that there are new added flights. I'm sure people would find this very helpful especially those who really want to travel. Thanks so much for posting.


  2. I think they noticed and realized how difficult it is to operate low cost flights on long haul routes. I am not a fan of that, as i think that at the end both cannot really benefit, neither the customers nor the operating airlines. Because the money must be earned to cover all expenses on these flights, no matter how. That means that finally the customer will pay a similar price that for a full service airline at the end and may get less service. I think maybe they can manage to operate one or two of these routes sucessfully in a longer term, either to Austraila or middle east. However, i think they should continue to concentrate and focus on the big asian market, where they already are very present,known and operate sucessfully. They also have branches which offer many domestic and short cross border flights. I hope that they dont exaggerate in the fees for all extras like food, baggage etc. in the future. Maybe we will see more mergers of low cost airlines in asia, when antitrust and competition laws allow to do so and when it really makes sense for the markets and the customers to do so. I thnik that asian low cost carriers are a nice addition and complete the service of regular international full servce airlines. So customers can get from europe or us directly to their final destinations in asia, which can also be a smaller airport or island.

  3. More competition will bring also better servĂ­ce and prices of the already established carriers in asia.


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