Transport chiefs launch probe into Cebu Pacific flight cancellations

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Cebu Pacific

Transport chiefs have launched an investigation to find out why Cebu Pacific has cancelled 116 domestic flights from May 1 to 10.

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Department of Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade said the probe would determine if the cancellations are caused by internal operating conditions of Cebu Pacific or the structure and conditions of airports that serve their flights.

“I have talked with Civil Aeronautics Board, Manila International Airport Authority and Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines to look into the matter. 

“While we would like to understand the present predicament of Cebu Pacific in relation to their internal requirements, they should equally understand our mandate of making sure that the travelling public is safe, secure and convenient,” he said in a television interview today (Wednesday, May 1).

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Tugade said the department expected to complete its investigation within two weeks.

“We need to look into various factors such as plane turnaround time, number of operating planes, the procedures being implemented on our taxiways and runways, etc. We will provide remedies to whatever shortcomings we have,” he explained.

He also said Cebu Pacific had reduced their flights amid its current operating conditions to ensure the safety of their passengers.

Tugade said he had met with aviation sector officials before Easter to address the issue of on-time performance (OTP) of all airlines which determines the timely takeoff and departure of their flights.

He directed the officials to submit daily reports of OTPs of airlines to determine causes of flight cancellations and delays.

“What caused the delay? Is it the airline or the airport? Once we do that, we have to address this all predicated on assuring safety, punctuality and convenience of the riding public. OTP is not only predicated on airport structure and procedure. It also addresses their own internal number of operating carriers,” Tugade said.

Earlier, Cebu Pacific said it will reduce around 10 flights a day this May amid ongoing disruptions of its operations while passengers experience extended delays and some on the spot cancellations.

“For the month of May, CEB will be reducing approximately 10 flights a day out of daily operations of 400 flights. CEB is currently reviewing adjustments required for June and beyond,” the airline said in a disclosure to the stock exchange.

“To create space in its schedule for operational recovery, minimize rolling delays and give passengers the chance to make alternate travel plans, Cebu Pacific has to temporarily reduce the number of its flights given the current operating conditions, particularly in its Manila hub,” it added.

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