‘Total Blackout’ in Manila leads to long wait in Zamboanga
As expected, the shutdown of Ninoy Aquino International Airport (Naia) on New Year’s Day had also affected travel from other parts of the country.
Passengers at Zamboanga International Airport waited for hours on Sunday before they were notified that flights in and out of Naia had been put on hold due to “technical issues.” Jaime Fernando, a Zamboanga native working in Manila as an information technology employee, told the Inquirer that he had been at the airport as early as 7 a.m. for his 9 a.m. flight to Manila.
“We were initially informed that flights were delayed but after five hours of waiting, they informed us that flights were canceled due to problems at the Manila airport,” he said.
Fernando, who had gone home for the holidays, said that he was supposed to report for work on Sunday afternoon.
Jimmy Santos, manager of the Civil Aviation Authority at Zamboanga International Airport, said that a total of 1,378 passengers were stranded when at least six flights to Manila, two bound for Cebu and one flight to Davao were canceled.
He said they were notified by their Manila office that technical issues at the Air Traffic Management Center were the reasons behind the flight cancellation. “[There was] no radar contact and communication, it is total blackout there,” Santos added.
According to him, only an Air Asia flight with 175 passengers was still on standby at the airport, awaiting updates from their office.
“[The passengers] are still at the predeparture area, waiting,” he said.
Luzon International Premiere Airport Development Corp. president and CEO Noel Manankil, meanwhile, said that no domestic flights from the Manila International Airport Authority had been diverted to Clark but the airport was ready to assist airlines.
In Puerto Princesa City in Palawan, flights to Manila were canceled on Sunday afternoon but no passengers were stranded. —WITH REPORTS FROM TONETTE OREJAS AND GERALDFORD TICKE INQ
Air traffic system glitch diverts all flights in Manila
Air traffic system glitch partially resolved, limited flights to resume — MIAA
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