AT about 10:30 a.m. today, I received a text message from a media colleague telling me that another MA-60 plane of Zest Airways overshot the runway at the Caticlan Airport, the gateway to Boracay. Mercifully, no one was hurt. Strangely enough, none of the online media sites carried the news. Strange ano? Or tanga ba to even wonder there's no news about it?
(Zest Air owner Fred Yao)
Another strange thing, despite this being the second landing accident of Zest Air in less than 6 months, the gov't-run Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines, which replaced the inutile Air Transportation Office, hasn't grounded the airline. The CAAP pala is even more inutile than CAB. Or maybe it's because they're afraid of Zest Air's owner Fred Yao of the Zest-O fame, who is reputedly very close to the presidentita? Hmmm. (Click here for photos of the first crash in Jan. 2009, and the story in Manila Standard.)
CAB didn't even bother to lift a finger to investigate the airline, still called Asian Spirit then, flying w/o insurance last year, the now infamous Ipis incident, and didn't ground Zest Air despite the first incident of undershooting the runway resulting in injuries.
Now, this is an appeal to the riding public: Just bec. an airline offers cheap flights, it doesn't mean you should jump at the chance. Check out the background and track record of the airline first before making that final booking and reservation. Don't take chances w/ your life and with the lives of your loved ones. It pays to google. In cyberspace, there are a number of bloggers who've written about their travails of riding in this or that airline. It pays to be well-informed. And yes, the life you save may be your own.