Cebu Pacific sorry for 'disruptions', vows to resolve 'challenges' | Inquirer News

Cebu Pacific sorry for ‘disruptions’, vows to resolve ‘challenges’

By: - Reporter / @MAgerINQ
/ 01:29 PM June 21, 2023

Budget carrier Cebu Pacific is apologizing to passengers affected by  “disruptions” of their flights

Cebu Pacific aircraft. Photo from Cebu Pacific

MANILA, Philippines — Budget carrier Cebu Pacific is apologizing to passengers affected by  “disruptions” of their flights attributing these “primarily” to fleet availability issues.

At a joint hearing in the Senate on Wednesday, Cebu Pacific, through its chief commercial officer Alexander Lao, recognized the difficulties and frustrations experienced lately by its passengers due to flight delays or cancellations.


“We express our sincerest apologies to our passengers for the disruptions and assure you that we are committed to resolving these challenges,” Lao said during the hearing of the Senate committees on tourism and public services.


“We value the trust and confidence of our passengers and are committed to providing safe, affordable, and reliable flights. Naiintindihan namin na responsibilidad pa rin namin ito bilang serbisyo publiko (We understand that this is still our responsibility as a public service),”  he added.

READ: Senate probes overbooking, offloading complaints vs Cebu Pacific

Cebu Pacific then enumerated several factors that affected their operations – from the global supply chain issues to ground damage caused by unexpected severe weather events.

Engine issues, Airbus deliveries delayed

In particular, Lao cited the grounding of 120 Pratt and Whitney (PW)-powered Airbus aircraft worldwide, which he said impacted other carriers, not just Cebu Pacific.

“The PW engines are experiencing premature removal from service, and each engine restoration requires 220 days instead of the industry norm of 90 days. This premature servicing can be likened to a car’s preventive maintenance, where the vehicle is brought in for inspection at 3,000 kilometers instead of the expected 5,000 kilometers. Additionally, the vehicle is in the shop for 1 month instead of 1 day,” he explained.


READ: BIZ BUZZ: D-Day for Cebu Pacific

Just this year, Cebu Pacific said it already encountered “12 unscheduled engine removals” and “had to ground 3 Airbus A321/A320 NEOs indefinitely since the middle of March.”

“Apart from the PW engine issues, we have also encountered delays from Airbus, our aircraft manufacturer,” he said.

“We recognize that global supply chain issues are further worsening the situation and causing additional delays in aircraft deliveries. As a result, we have experienced delays ranging from anywhere  2 to 5 months for our scheduled deliveries in 2023,” Lao also said.

READ: Cebu Pacific called out for consumer plaints

Incidents, red lightning alerts slowed operations

Aside from these fleet-related matters, the budget airline also cited other incidents that affected their operations: ground damage from runway debris, damage caused by unexpected severe weather events, bird strikes, aircraft damaged by a burst tire upon landing, and damage from a towing incident by its contracted maintenance provider.

Cebu Pacific was also forced to suspend its operations due to red lightning alerts, which, according to  Lao, have become more prevalent this year.

From April-June alone, he said, 72 red lightning alerts were raised.

READ: BIZ BUZZ: Cebu Pacific force majeure

To address all these issues, Cebu Pacific said it has already implemented several measures, such as activating a disruption management team, increasing live chat agents, and improving policies and processes for disruption handling and communication.

“We acknowledge that these actions may still be insufficient for affected passengers, and we are actively managing the situation and assessing how we can provide better care during this recovery period,” the airline said.

PAL apologizes, too

Like Cebu Pacific,  flag carrier Philippine Airlines (PAL) said it is also struggling from the same global supply shortage.

“We do confirm that like Cebu Pacific, our operations are affected by the global supply shortage that is currently ongoing,” PAL’s vice president for legal affairs Ma. Clara de Castro said during the same hearing.

In fact, she said, the past several weeks had been “most challenging” for PAL as they have more aircraft now on unscheduled preventive maintenance at a time when travel is at its peak during summer season.

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.

“We are not offering any excuses. We are fully aware of the inconvenience to our passengers kaya humihingi po kami ng sinserong paumanhin sa publiko, sa aming mga pasahero (so we sincerely apologize to the public, to our passengers),” de Castro said.

PAL nevertheless assured the public that they will continue to work  “in order to bring our operations to normalcy and to extend to our passengers what is  expected  of Philippine Airlines.”

TAGS: Aviation, Cebu Pacific, Probe, Senate

© Copyright 1997-2024 | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.