Gov’t to airlines: Solve flight delays

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Gov’t to airlines: Solve flight delays
Air traffic congestion is not to blame, insists Manila International Airport Authority General Manager Jose Angel Honrado

MANILA, Philippines – Shape up and address the perennial problem of flight delays.

This was the order of Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) General Manager Jose Angel Honrado to representatives of flag carrier Philippine Airlines (PAL) and budget airline Cebu Pacific in a meeting Friday, April 10.

The representatives were shown the daily logs with the recorded flight delays, and Honrado told them that what causes the flight delays is not necessarily air traffic congestion but airline companies falling short of meeting their flight schedules.

Delays in the early hours

The delays in the first wave of flights from 4 am to 7 am affected succeeding flights during the day.

From a 3-day average in January this year, 27 flights were delayed during the first wave resulting in an average of 103 delayed flights for the rest of the day, Honrado said.

In February, a total of 10 delayed flights were recorded from a 3-day average, resulting in 45 delayed flights throughout the day.

Prolonged aircraft servicing on the ground and the late arrival of aircraft from its point of origin are causing the delays, Honrado told airline representatives.

He said that the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) is capable of accommodating all flights and stressed that air traffic congestion is not the cause.

As a solution, airlines should hasten the ground servicing of aircraft and adjust their passenger loading time, Honrado said.

Airlines should meet their flight schedules for the benefit of their passengers, Honrado added.

The Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) also proposed a workshop for airlines to further discuss solutions to flight delay.

In 2014, a total of 236,442 arriving and departing flights were recorded among all terminals, averaging 648 flights a day.

In January, the Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) imposed a record P52.1 million ($1.17 million) fine on Cebu Pacific over flight delays arising from cancelled flights during the Christmas holidays which affected 10,400 passengers from December 24 to 26, 2014.

The amount was directly deposited to the national treasury as mandated by Republic Act 776 otherwise known as the Civil Aeronautics Act of the Philippines.

CAB advised passengers to seek compensation from Cebu Pacific for flight delays and cancellations during the holidays, saying it has no power to compel the budget airline to shell out money for affected customers.

Cebu Pacific President and CEO Lance Gokongwei later apologized and blamed absenteeism for the Christmas holiday flight delays and cancellations. –


$1 = P44.69

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