PAL acknowledges insufficient efforts, apologizes anew
Flag-carrier Philippine Airlines (PAL) has apologized for failing to fully attend to the needs of passengers who were stuck at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (Naia), after a foreign aircraft was stalled on a major runway.
“We exerted all efforts to take care of affected passengers who, we recognize, had to endure uncertainty, long waits and discomfort. We acknowledge, however, that our efforts were not enough at some of the critical times,” PAL said in a statement on Tuesday.
“And for this, we sincerely apologize and we assure you that we will strive to do more and make the necessary improvements for the benefit of all,” they added.
On Thursday night, a Boeing 737-800 from Xiamen Air skidded to the left of Naia Runway 06/24. The removal of the airplane took some time, causing several delayed inbound and outbound routes and affecting thousands of passengers in both domestic and international flights.
PAL has previously apologized on Saturday for the delays, although they have emphasized that the incident was well beyond their control.
However, complaints mounted as passengers claimed that they were not attended to by PAL personnel. Some said that the airline did not provided food and beverage and hotel accommodation after the delays.
According to PAL, while they have been allowed to use Runway 13/31, it can only accommodate smaller aircrafts and other airlines have also queued up to use the runway.
“Unfortunately, there were still delays and cancellations as dozens of flights from different airlines switched to that runway, not to mention the strong tailwinds that required closing Runway 13/31 at times,” PAL claimed.
PAL management also asked its customers to bear with delays even as the main runway has been opened, as they try to normalize the situation.
“We continue to work hard to normalize operations which entails bringing home diverted airplanes, mounting replacement flights on key routes, reshuffling of aircraft, crew and other operational resources,” PAL vowed.
“There is so much more to do and there will regrettably be some more delays and re-timing of flights. But we will do what we can to minimize the inconvenience to our valued passengers,” they noted.
Despite the incident, PAL thanked government agencies, its staffers, and all the customers for understanding the unfortunate situation.
“We wish to take this opportunity to thank the Manila International Airport Authority, the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines and other government agencies here and abroad, with whom we have been constantly coordinating,” PAL said.
“We also want to express our appreciation to all PAL personnel, service providers and other program partners […] most of all, to our customers and their families: Thank you for bearing with us,” the management added. /je
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