CAB: Cebu Pacific won’t be fined over flight cancellations
Robie de Guzman • May 15, 2019 • 1459
MANILA, Philippines – The Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) will not fine Cebu Pacific over its series of flight cancellations from April 28 to May 10, the Department of Transportation (DOTr) said on Wednesday.
The DOTr explained that no fines will be imposed after CAB found that the concerns of passengers affected by the flight cancellations have been handled properly.
“Affected passengers’ concerns were found to be handled properly by Cebu Pacific in compliance with the Air Passenger Bill of Rights. Thus, the imposition of penalties was not considered at present,” the DOTr said in a statement.
Instead, the CAB directed Cebu Pacific to submit within 30 days a concrete plan stating measures it will take to prevent further inconvenience to passengers.
“We are hoping that Cebu Pacific will immediately comply with the order to resolve this issue. Hindi na natin maibabalik pa ‘yung dinulot na inconvenience these cancellations have caused. But moving forward, we aim to have more substantial actions so that our passengers will not have to suffer,” DOTr Secretary Arthur Tugade said.
The air transport regulator also recommended that a stern warning be given to Cebu Pacific to exercise diligence necessary in maintaining stability and reliability of air transport service to the riding public.
The DOTr said that during its hearings held on May 2 and May 6, Cebu Pacific said that it was forced to cancel hundreds of its flights due to ongoing efforts to improve on-time performance (OTP) as its aircraft takes 49 to 66 minutes before being able to take off.
The flight cancellations will “create space” in their flight and crew inventory, “make way for operational recovery,” and “minimize rolling delays,” the Cebu Pacific noted.
CAB also found that the airliner had a “crewing problem,” as it concluded that “the additional time spent by the on-duty crew on the tarmac consumes the working hours and reserves that were supposed to be utilized at a much later schedule.”
While the CAB understands the cancellations as a recuperative measure for the airline, it pointed out that it cannot be made at the expense of the riding public.
“We want to remind airlines to consider the welfare of its passengers by avoiding short notice. The people have paid for these flights and have made their schedules accordingly,” CAB Executive Director Carmelo Arcilla said.
“While we understand the corrective measures being made to improve OTP, maximum effort should be done so that these measures are not at the expense of our passengers,” he added.
For the DOTr’s part, Secretary Tugade has directed the daily publication of airline OTP in major airports nationwide.
The DOTr noted Cebu Pacific’s OTP was pushed to an average of 51.16%, with lows of around 30% in March due to the hour-long stay on the tarmac. (with details from Joan Nano)
The Philippine National Railways (PNR) unveiled two new train sets on Friday (February 14).
The two 8100 series of diesel multiple unit (DMU) delivered from Indonesia will begin operating on Tuesday (February 18) from Tutuban to Alabang station. It is expected that these series can serve 1,000 passengers per trip.
Passengers may avail free rides during the trains’ 150-hour validation and static test which will last for 10 days.
PNR General Manager Junn Magno led the unwrapping of the 8100 series consisting of two (2) trainsets with four-car formation per set.
“With the additional new trains, ang estimate namin, the whole fleet can now accommodate additional 35,000 passengers, and it will be increasing in the next few years,” he said.—AAC (with reports from Asher Cadapan Jr.)
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