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A parked Cebu Pacific aircraft. Image Credit: Cebu Pacific

  • Up to 10,000 passengers affected by the series of cancellations of Cebu Pacific flights
  • Number of passengers affected seen rising as cancellations continue until May 10
  • Affected passengers get free round-trip tickets to any domestic destinations
  • Passengers on canceled flights can rebook for free for travel within 30 days from original departure date

Manila: The Philippine’s aviation regulatory body said it is conducting an investigation into recent flight delays by carrier Cebu Pacific as the airline received flak for disruptions in the schedule.

In a radio interview aired over station dzBB on Tuesday, Civil Aviation Board (CAB) Legal Division Chief, Wyrlou Samodio said Cebu Pacific should explain recent disruptions in its flight schedules.

10,000

number of passers affected, a number that could go up, according to airline.

“As far as we know, Cebu Pacific operates a new fleet of aircraft,” Samudio said.

FACT FILE
Up to 10,000 passengers affected by the cancellations. Cebu Pacific, a low-cost Philippine carrier with a fast expanding international network, expects the figure to rise as cancellations continue until May 10.

Based on the recent update by Cebu Pacific in its social media sites, 116 of its domestic flight schedules from May 1-10 had been cancelled.

116

Number of domestic flights affected from May 1 to May 10

Cancellations

“As part of the ongoing effort to improve on-time performance and reduce inconvenience to our passengers, Cebu Pacific and Cebgo (its sister company) will be cancelling 58 round-trip flights until May 10, 2019.”

“We are truly sorry for the inconvenience this has caused our passengers,” it said in a notice issued April 29.

Most of the flights affected are those that would coming from Manila. The carrier gave the passengers the option to rebook their trip, get a full refund or reroute to another destination as long as the changes are made within 30 days.

1

Manila has only one international airport — with only one proper runway (the second, much shorter, runway which runs perpendicular to the main runway, is used for takeoffs of smaller aircraft for domestic fllights) — this often results in overcrowded skies over the Philippine capital.

Although disruptions are not uncommon for flights coming from the Philippines, the occasion marks rare instances when entire flight schedules spanning several days were “cancelled,” en masse.

Cebu Pacific reasoned that it was compelled to cancel the scheduled flights because it suffered “an unprecedented level of disruption” in its operations.

NAIA chaos
In this August 18, 2018, stranded passengers crowd the lobby of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport more than 24-hours after Xiamen Air, a Boeing passenger plane from China, skidded off the runway while landing under a heavy downpour. Image Credit: AP

“Our passengers are experiencing extended delays and some on-the-spot cancellations … To create space in our schedule for operational recovery, minimise rolling delays and give passengers the chance to make alternate travel plans, we have to temporarily reduce the number of our flights given the current operating conditions, particularly in our Manila hub,” Cebu Pacific said.

Over the past several days, various parts of the country, including Metro Manila, had been rocked by earthquakes.

The most powerful was the magnitude 6.5 earthquake that struck Zambales in Central Luzon last on April 22. The seismic event forced the Clark Airport in Pampanga to shut down operations until April 24 while civil aviation authorities also conducted checks on the safety of the runway at the Manila International Airport, several dozens of kilometres away.

With the damage incurred by the Clark Airport, some of the local and international flights scheduled were diverted to the Manila airport.