AirAsia slashes Flights Amid Turbulence From PAL, Cebu Pacific

AirAsia slashes Flights Amid Turbulence From PAL, Cebu Pacific

AirAsia Zest has cut back more Flights this month as the budget carrier controlled by Malaysian Aviation trailblazer Tony Fernandes encountered more competitive turbulence from Philippine Airlines and Cebu Pacific.

The biggest reduction was made on the busy Manila Cebu route, with AirAsiaZest reducing the seven daily Flights to three,according to the Airline's website.

The daily Manila Tagbilaran Flights were also trimmed from four to three.
The reductions were also implemented on key regional routes, despite the budget carrier's focusing more on the regional markets for its restructuring and long term growth.

The tourist laden Kalibo Seoul Flights were clipped from two to one a day, while the Manila Macau segment apparently could not generate enough Filipinos to visit the Chinese gambling mecca that the daily Flights had to be slashed to four weekly.

Likewise, there was not enough sustainable traffic between Sabah and Manila in this monsoon season, such that the daily Kota Kinabalu Flights were also cut down to four times a week.

According to the industry think thank Centre for Aviation, AirAsiaZest's domestic capacity has already been reduced by about 30 percent compared to the August 2013 levels, as the third carrier shifted its focus away from the Manila market to other International gateways, particularly Kalibo, the gateway to Boracay.

AirAsia is now the market leader in Kalibo, accounting for about 40 percent of total capacity and operating services to five International destinations, including Beijing and Shanghai in China, and Busan and Seoul in South Korea.

The Fruits of the network restructuring should be fully realized by the end of 2014,said the Centre for Aviation, noting that AirAsiaZest's load factor has improved to 77 percent in the second half of 2014 from only 59 percent in the third quarter of 2013.

By the end of 2014, the Airline's fleet of 19 Aircraft should also have been reduced to 11, with lease returns and outright sales for the eight A320s it acquired with the merger with Zest Air.

Fernandes has been quoted as saying AirAsiaZest should return to the black by the second half of this year, attributing the losses as short lived due to external factors like the weakening of the peso, the geo political climate and the fluctuations of fuel prices.

The unresolved boardroom feud among the Ortigas clan over the choice between Ayala or SM groups as strategic partner has washed over to their listed subsidiary, Concrete Aggregates Corp.

Concrete Aggregates has decided to indefinitely defer its August 28 annual shareholders meeting, citing failure to obtain the proxy from its parent Ortigas.

Because of the boardroom impasse, two directors, chairman J. Rowell Recinto and Emmanuel Rapadas, have already resigned, with IT consultant and photographer Jose Rodriguez being appointed acting chairman and president just last March.

Concrete Aggregates key real estate assets a 12 hectare property in Longos, Bagumbayan, Quezon City and another 4.4 hectares in Tatala, Binangonan, Rizal have already been transferred to Ortigas and Co., aside from the limited partnership also providing management services for Concrete Aggregates.

PNoy's uncles, aunts and cousins controlling the Central Azucarera de Tarlac are apparently still having a hard time raising corporate governance standards in their sugar refinery within the landed clan's own Hacienda Luisita.

For the nth time, the Philippine Stock Exchange has imposed an undisclosed monetary penalty on the listed refinery for the delayed submission of a report on foreign ownership as well as on the number of the company's shareholders.

The governance standards have reached such a point that even Central Azucarera de Tarlac spokesman Addison Castro even has had to suffer an Atenean amnesia just to economize on the facts on his already lawyerly denial about the sale of the refinery to the group of ex-Pancake House owner Martin Lorenzo and CAT chief operating officer Fernando Cojuangco.

After decades of litigation, retired investment banker Noel Onate has finally won his financial claim against Land Bank, with the Supreme Court striking down his original claim of P2.6 billion to a still respectable neighborhood of P800 million.

o San Miguel Corp. has brought in a British import, Michael Anthony Fitch, apparently one of a number of foreign financial and technical consultants helping San Miguel president Ramon S. Ang in his bold plan to further expand the now regional conglomerate.

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Mohini Porwal [ B Sc]
Trainee News Editor
Philipines Aviation News Editor