Cebu Pacific won’t be fined for April 28-May 10 flight cancellations — DOTr
MANILA, Philippines — The Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) will not be imposing fines against budget carrier Cebu Pacific over its series of flight cancellations from April 28 to May 10, the Department of Transportation (DOTr) said Wednesday.
The DOTr explained that the CAB did not consider imposing fines because passengers were found to be “handled properly” by the Cebu Pacific.
“Affected passengers’ concerns were found to be handled properly by Cebu Pacific in compliance with the Air Passenger Bill of Rights. Thus, imposition of penalties was not considered at present,” the department said in a statement.
Instead, the CAB has ordered Cebu Pacific to submit within 30 days a concrete plan of corrective measures in its operations to prevent further inconvenience to its passengers.
The CAB also recommended that a “stern warning” be given to the airline company to “exercise diligence necessary in maintaining stability and reliability of air transport service to the riding public,” the department said.
“We are hoping that Cebu Pacific will immediately comply with the order to resolve this issue. Hindi na natin maibabalik pa ‘yung dinulot na inconvenience these cancellations have caused. But moving forward, we aim to have more substantial actions so that our passengers will not have to suffer,” Secretary Tugade said in the statement.
The DOTr said that during two formal hearings, the Cebu Pacific explained that it was compelled to cancel flights as its aircrafts take 49 to 66 minutes before being able to take off.
The flight cancellations will “create space” in their flight and crew inventory, “make way for operational recovery,” and “minimize rolling delays,” the Cebu Pacific noted.
The CAB found Cebu Pacific to have a “crewing problem” as it concluded that “the additional time spent by on-duty crew on the tarmac consumes the working hours and reserves that were supposed to be utilized at a much later schedule,” the department said.
The DOTr said Cebu Pacific’s on-time performance dropped to a low of 30 percent in March from 51.16 percent due to the delays in take off.
Cebu Pacific earlier canceled about 172 one-way domestic flights from April 28 to May 10, or 14 flights a day, affecting 22,000 passengers. (Editor: Julie Espinosa)
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