PAL management apologizes for flight delays
CEBU CITY — The management of the Philippine Airlines (PAL) has apologized to its passengers and sought public understanding after a number of their flights were canceled or diverted on Friday hours after a Chinese plane skidded off a runway at Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) due to heavy rainfall.
In a statement posted on its Facebook page past noon on Saturday, PAL said other international and domestic flights may be delayed as they reassigned aircraft and focused on returning other diverted aircraft to Manila.
“We request your patience and kind understanding as we devote all efforts to normalize and stabilize our operations in the aftermath of this prolonged runway closure,” said the country’s flag carrier.
“We at Philippine Airlines sincerely apologize for the inconvenience from this situation, caused by an incident beyond our control. We seek the kind understanding of our passengers and their families,” it added.
PAL said affected passengers may rebook, refund, or reroute their flights within 30 days from their original flight dates.
“As this remains to be a developing situation, and further changes may be necessary, we request our passengers to check for continuing updates on the status of your flights by calling PAL hotline 855 8888 or by logging on to www.philippineairlines.com,” the management said.
At 11:55 p.m. on Thursday, Xiamen Air Flight MF8667 veered off the runway of the NAIA due to incessant rains in Metro Manila.
It prompted officials from the Manila International Airport Authority and the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines to close NAIA for 36 hours. It was opened past 1 p.m. on August 18.
PAL canceled at least 29 flights and diverted 12 others—three of them to Cebu.
These were flights: PR105 (San Francisco-Manila; PR117 (Vancouver-Manila; and PR219 (Auckland-Manila).
Passengers, however, expressed disgust over how the PAL management handled the situation.
“I’m with my family and we came from San Francisco. There are six members of the family and we’re sleeping on the floor with a cardboard,” said one of the passengers who was diverted to Mactan Cebu International Airport’s Terminal 2.
“We’ve been here for more than a day already, and we’re trying to ask PAL but they’re not giving us (any attention). They don’t know what to do with us,” he added.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.