Philippines' Zest getting A320 in July and later more MA60s

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Philippine carrier Zest Airways aims to take delivery of a third Airbus A320 next month and is in negotiations with Xian Aircraft to add six more Xian Aircraft MA60 turboprops.

"We are working on delivery of the third A320 from Airbus," Zest Airways executive VP and chief operating officer, Eliseo Tabora, says from Manila, adding that the contract is signed and it aims to receive this aircraft in July.

He says the airline is buying it direct from Airbus.

It is also in negotiations with Xian Aircraft to purchase six MA60s and has already signed a memorandum of understanding but has yet to sign the final contract, he says.

"We're still working out the details" but once the contract is signed "maybe these will be delivered in the later part of this year," he adds.

Zest's base is in Manila but it wants additional MA60s so it can expand its network and establish two more hubs in the country including one in Cebu, he says.

The carrier is certain it will expand its domestic network but is taking its time because there is a lot of planning involved and the margins on domestic are low because of price discounting from competitors, he adds.

Zest already operates four MA60s.