PAL apologizes to passengers over 5 cancelled flights
MANILA, Philippines–Five flights of Philippine Airlines (PAL) from Manila to Cebu and vice versa were cancelled late Wednesday due to protracted aircraft repairs.
A total of 1,087 passengers (568 exiting Manila and 519 exiting Cebu) which represent about 4 percent of PAL’s 25,000 daily average, were affected. They were served meals, booked in hotels and eventually flown to their respective destinations Thursday.
The cancelled flights were PR 849/850 (Manila-Cebu-Manila); PR 855/856 (Manila-Cebu-Manila); and PR 864 (Cebu-Manila). PAL’s other 89 domestic and 73 international flights operated normally.
In a statement emailed to media, the airline management apologized to affected passengers and sought public understanding for the longer time it took to service aircraft. “We wish to convey our sincerest regrets for the inconvenience our customers suffered. PAL assures our loyal patrons that the airline would never compromise safety and would go to such lengths as cancelling flights if only to ensure that our planes are 100 percent safe and airworthy,” PAL spokesperson Cielo Villaluna said.
Due to the protracted technical works on the aircraft, PAL’s cabin attendants also refused to serve affected flights as they will exceed crew duty time limits embodied in their Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA), said Villaluna.
Prior to management’s dispute with the cabin crew union over salaries and retirement age, the statement said, flight attendants willingly rendered overtime in order to fulfill the airline’s duty, as a public utility, to serve the riding public. But as the legal issues dragged on, the union began strictly enforcing a 100-percent CBA compliance policy within its ranks which includes, among others, refusal to render overtime even at public expense and inconvenience.
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