MANILA, Philippines — The Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) shelved its order for Cebu Pacific domestic flights to devote 40 minutes on the ground before each take-off to enhance safety.
In a press conference on Wednesday, July 31, CAAP deputy director John Andrews said the supposed implementation of the order on August 1 is not “feasible.”
The 40-minute turnaround time – or the time between take-offs and landings – would affect 7,000 passengers listed for Cebu Pacific flights that day, said Andrews.
“It will result [in] delays in 75 flights and this will have a boomerang effect and most likely the last flights will be cancelled,” he added.
CAAP ordered the 40-minute turnaround time for the Gokongwei-owned budget airline after two landing mishaps in June.
Andrews said Cebu Pacific would comply with a new turnaround time rule, along with other local airlines, in October.
CAAP plans to implement a turnaround time of 45 minutes industry-wide at the start of the Winter season in October.
Cebu Pacific and other low-cost carriers currently observe a turnaround time of around 25 to 30 minutes – the world standard – allowing them to maximize the utilization of their aircraft and offer low fares.
The more time they spend in the air than on the ground, the better. Ground time is used for offloading passengers, refueling and loading again.
CAAP said enhancing aviation safety standards is in line with the Philippines’ goal of getting upgraded to Category 1 status, which will allow local airlines to mount new flights to the US.