'Lack of coordination' of some airlines worsened NAIA delays
MANILA, Philippines – The Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) said some airlines' lack of coordination worsened flight delays and cancellations at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).
The delays and cancellations were triggered by a mishap involving a Xiamen Air plane, which skidded off the NAIA runway late Thursday night, August 16. The runway was temporarily closed, and was only reopened late Saturday morning, August 18.
The incident led to a domino effect on flights across the 4 NAIA terminals, with cancellations reported until Sunday, August 19.
In a press briefing on Sunday, MIAA General Manager Ed Monreal said at least 681 domestic and international flights have been affected. At around 200 passengers per flight, Monreal said, that would mean around 136,200 affected passengers.
There was a problem with some recovery flights for these passengers.
"May mga airlines ho na nag-mount ng recovery flights without even letting us know, so nagkaroon ho ng pressure sa ating mga gates, may mga flights na matagal na i-position kasi hindi ho namin alam na darating," Monreal said.
(There were airlines which mounted recovery flights without even letting us know, so there was more pressure at our gates, there were flights which we couldn't position immediately because we didn't even know they were arriving.)
The MIAA chief declined to name these airlines which he said forgot protocol.
He reminded all airlines that they should plan their logistics then coordinate properly with authorities.
"Sila ho ang may hawak ng assets, ng mga eroplano, ng schedules, kung ilang piloto at crew ang kailangan.... Wala ho sa authorities 'yun," Monreal said.
(They're the ones holding assets, aircraft, schedules, who know how many pilots and crew are needed.... Those are not in the hands of authorities.)
Asked about penalties, Monreal said the right agency to handle such would be the Civil Aeronautics Board.
"What's important now is to handle and resolve the current situation. 'Yung penalties ho, saka na natin pag-usapan (Let's talk about the penalties later)," he added.
The Senate committee on public services plans to conduct a probe into the incident.
Appeals to airlines, passengers
According to Monreal, Terminal 1 is still problematic while Terminals 2 and 3 are almost back to normal.
He appealed to airlines to promptly respond to passengers' concerns. (LOOK: Crowded NAIA after runway reopening)
"Walang may gusto nito.... But at the end of the day, kliyente ho nila 'yun at mga pasahero nila in the future. So 'pag hindi ho natin napangalagaan ang welfare ng mga pasaherong ito, sa susunod na babiyahe itong mga pasaherong ito, baka kalimutan din sila," Monreal said.
(No one wanted this to happen.... But at the end of the day, those are their clients and passengers again in the future. So if they don't take care of the welfare of these passengers, the next time these passengers travel, they would opt for other airlines.)
Monreal added that airlines must provide certification for overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) so employers would know that the delays are not their fault.
"Kailangan asikasuhin ng airlines ang mga problema, especially ng mga kababayan nating OFW, dahil ang naririnig kong concern is baka mawalan sila ng trabaho," the MIAA chief said.
(The airlines should address the problems, especially the problems of our countrymen who are OFWs, because I've been hearing concerns that they fear losing their jobs.)
Passengers, in turn, are urged to "be cooperative."
"[Ang] pagiging agresibo...will not help and resolve anything. Dapat ho tayo mag-cooperate at maging mahinahon," Monreal said.
(Being aggressive...will not help and resolve anything. We should cooperate and be calm.)
The MIAA chief added that passengers should call airlines or travel agents first before going to the airport, to find out if their flight is pushing through as scheduled, delayed, or canceled. – Rappler.com