Saturday, September 8, 2012

What's behind the removal of Zestair flights to Marinduque by October 27?

Marinduque Airport. Its apron and taxiway were concreted last year.
Let’s go back a little bit to what the Governor of Marinduque, Carmencita Reyes announced recently over the local radio to justify the loan she and the provincial board are pursuing:

“Pagsasaayos ng runway ng Gasan Airport (Marinduque Airport), upang mapigilan ang napipintong pagpigil ng operasyon ng Zestair dahil sa kondisyon ng ating runway…”, she said.

“Dapat lang malaman ng ating mga kababayan dito sa Marinduque na ito ay pagpigil sa madaling panahon na taning o palugit sa pagpigil ng biyahe ng eroplano sa Oktubre 27, 2012...”, she said.

“….alam naman natin na matagal ang proseso ng bidding at dokumentasyon ng gobyerno. Kaya upang di tayo maipit sa deadline ng airline na titigil na sa a-27 ng Oktubre, gagastusan muna ng probinsya ang proyekto, at pagkatapos, isasauli na lang ng DOTC ito", she said.

Clearly, Reyes has deliberately used the airport runway condition as the reason, and no other, for the stoppage of Zestair flights to Marinduque. But what is the real reason for removal of Zestair flights to Marinduque? 

At NAIA.  Runway congestions result in flight delays and terminals
operating beyond capacity. Photo by Katherine Visconti 

Item:

Residents of Virac, Catarman and Calbayog will lose daily flights to and from Manila starting next month, while those living in Marinduque, Masbate, Busuanga and Tablas in Romblon would suffer the same fate by October, as Zest Airways trims its service to comply with Transport (DOTC),Secretary Manuel ‘Mar’ Roxas II’s directive to reduce flights out of the capital.

"The government has mandated us to reduce flying out of Manila by 30 percent effective July. We are reducing our operations. We will be removing Calbayog, Catarman and Virac effective July 1," Alfredo Herrera, ZestAir head of marketing and sales told reporters... Read.


And in another:

He said this has led them to cease flying to Virac, Catarman, and Calbayog by July. Their operations at Marinduque, Masbate, Busuanga and Tablas in Romblon would likewise be stopped by October.
Transportation Secretary Mar Roxas has already announced these NAIA-related rationalization plans way back in May. 

The local industry is going through a shake up as the transportation department and its agencies cope with growing consumer complaints on both infrastructure and airline practices. Read.

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