DOTC: Gov’t investigating Cebu Pacific’s ‘appalling number of delayed flights’

By , on January 8, 2015

Cebu Pacific Airlines. Wikipedia photo
Cebu Pacific Airlines. Wikipedia photo

MANILA — After a series of flight delays and cancellations by budget airlines Cebu Pacific last Christmas, concerned government agencies are investigating these complaints to sanction the company if necessary.

Data submitted by the airline to the panel last Dec 29 showed that the airline had a total of 20 cancelled flights and 288 delayed flights at Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 3 from December 24 to 26.

The Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB), the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP), and the Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) are the agencies assigned to investigate on the issue.

Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya said that while the airline already explained that the delays were due to air traffic congestion, it does not appear to be supported by the facts.

“What is clear from the panel’s initial report is that Cebu Pacific had an appalling number of delayed flights from December 24 to 26,” Abaya said in a statement.

“Six flights arrived late at NAIA in the early morning of December 24 alone. There was no congestion yet at that time,” he added.

The DOTC chief said that these incidents of tardiness caused a “domino effect of delays” throughout the rest of the day.

He further said that even worse was during the morning of Dec 26, with only two check-in counters for domestic flights open and it was not until 11:00am that more counters were opened.

“The flying public deserves much better service than that,” Abaya said.

“We sympathize with those who lost precious hours with their families and loved ones on Christmas, and we will see to it that Cebu Pacific will answer for any possible mismanagement,” he added.

The CAB has authority to impose fines, suspensions, and even revocation of franchise if warranted.