NAIA resumes normal operations

Aika Rey
NAIA resumes normal operations
Flight operations are back to normal on the 5th day since the runway mishap, but airlines are still attending to passengers whose flights were canceled

MANILA, Philippines – The Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) resumed normal operations on Tuesday, August 21, 5 days after the Xiamen Air plane accident that paralyzed the Philippines’ main gateway.

In an interview with GMA, Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) Assistant General Manager for Operations Octavio Lina said all 4 terminals have normalized operations, 3 days since the NAIA runway was reopened.

“We went around and we saw that operations have normalized. There was no longer congestion [in Terminals 2, 3, and 4]. It’s just that in Terminal 1 there were still some passengers as a Saudia flight was delayed as well as another recovery flight going to Vancouver. But it’s okay now,” Lina said in a mix of English and Filipino.

In a statement on Tuesday, Cebu Pacific said it would no longer cancel flights due to the Chinese plane mishap.

“Operations of Cebu Pacific have normalized as of today, August 21. Barring any other technical, weather-related, or other extraordinary circumstances, we do not plan to cancel flights,” the airline said.

Cebu Pacific added that passengers affected by flight cancellations in the past days may continue to rebook their flights, convert the fare value into a travel fund, or get a full refund. (READ: What to do when your flight gets canceled)

Meanwhile, flag carrier Philippine Airlines (PAL) is still dealing with the effects of the runway mishap.

“[W]e continue to work hard to normalize operations which entails bringing home diverted airplanes, mounting replacement flights on key routes, [and] reshuffling of aircraft, crew, and other operational resources,” PAL said.

“There is so much more to do and there will regrettably be some more delays and retiming of flights. But we will do what we can to minimize the inconvenience to our valued passengers,” it added.

Xiamen Air Flight MF8667 skidded off the NAIA runway late Thursday night, August 16, amid a heavy downpour. The recovery operation took 36 hours, causing canceled flights and leaving thousands of passengers stranded.

Despite the resumption of flight operations at the runway on Saturday, August 18, several airlines still had to cancel flights until Monday, August 20 – a domino effect caused by delayed operations. – Rappler.com

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Aika Rey

Aika Rey is a business reporter for Rappler. She covered the Senate of the Philippines before fully diving into numbers and companies. Got tips? Find her on Twitter at @reyaika or shoot her an email at aika.rey@rappler.com.