Cebu Pacific pays P52.11M fine
MANILA, Philippines – Cebu Air Inc (Cebu Pacific) of taipan John Gokongwei paid on Thursday, January 29, the P52.11-million ($1.18 million) fine assessed by the Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB).
The fine was imposed on the budget carrier for flight delays and cancellations during the Christmas season.
CAB executive director Carmelo Arcilla confirmed in a text message that Cebu Pacific paid the full amount assessed by the regulator.
“The amount was directly deposited by the CAB in the account of the national treasury in accordance with the rules,” Arcilla added.
Arcilla is referring to the rules mandated by Republic Act 776, otherwise known as the Civil Aeronautics Act of the Philippines.
The regulator, through CAB Resolution No. 4 (BM 01-01-12-2015), slapped the multimillion-peso fine after numerous passengers complained over flight delays and cancellations from December 24 to 26. A total of 10,400 passengers were affected.
The CAB Board decided to impose a P5,000 ($113.37) fine for every affected passenger, but the regulator admitted it has no power to compel the budget airline to reimburse the affected passengers.
CAB implements the Air Passenger Bill of Rights (APBR) that defines and seeks to protect the rights and interests of passengers vis-a-vis the airlines, and address common passenger concerns.
Thus the regulator encouraged the affected passengers to seek compensation themselves for the inconvenience caused them.
Cebu Pacific Air Inc chief Lance Gokongwei said in a congressional hearing on January 21 that he was “profoundly sorry” for failing their passengers during the holidays.
The airline executive stressed that absenteeism was the root of the problem, which Cebu Pacific had earlier cited in their explanation to a government panel investigating the incident.
As it settled the fine, Cebu Pacific officer-in-charge for corporate affairs division Paterno Mantaring Jr said the budget carrier looks forward to "work more closely with our government regulators, to serve the best interests of our valued passengers, and the general public." – Rappler.com
(US$1 = P44.11)
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