CAB: Cebu Pacific won’t be fined over flight cancellations

Robie de Guzman   •   May 15, 2019   •   1794

MANILA, Philippines – The Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) will not fine Cebu Pacific over its series of flight cancellations from April 28 to May 10, the Department of Transportation (DOTr) said on Wednesday.

READ: Cebu Pacific cancels more flights until May 10

The DOTr explained that no fines will be imposed after CAB found that the concerns of passengers affected by the flight cancellations have been handled properly.

“Affected passengers’ concerns were found to be handled properly by Cebu Pacific in compliance with the Air Passenger Bill of Rights. Thus, the imposition of penalties was not considered at present,” the DOTr said in a statement.

Instead, the CAB directed Cebu Pacific to submit within 30 days a concrete plan stating measures it will take to prevent further inconvenience to passengers.

“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,” DOTr Secretary Arthur Tugade said.

The air transport regulator also recommended that a stern warning be given to Cebu Pacific to exercise diligence necessary in maintaining stability and reliability of air transport service to the riding public.

The DOTr said that during its hearings held on May 2 and May 6, Cebu Pacific said that it was forced to cancel hundreds of its flights due to ongoing efforts to improve on-time performance (OTP) as its aircraft takes 49 to 66 minutes before being able to take off.

READ: CAB looks into Cebu Pacific flight cancellations

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.

CAB also found that the airliner had a “crewing problem,” as it concluded that “the additional time spent by the on-duty crew on the tarmac consumes the working hours and reserves that were supposed to be utilized at a much later schedule.”

While the CAB understands the cancellations as a recuperative measure for the airline, it pointed out that it cannot be made at the expense of the riding public.

“We want to remind airlines to consider the welfare of its passengers by avoiding short notice. The people have paid for these flights and have made their schedules accordingly,” CAB Executive Director Carmelo Arcilla said.

“While we understand the corrective measures being made to improve OTP, maximum effort should be done so that these measures are not at the expense of our passengers,” he added.

For the DOTr’s part, Secretary Tugade has directed the daily publication of airline OTP in major airports nationwide.

The DOTr noted Cebu Pacific’s OTP was pushed to an average of 51.16%, with lows of around 30% in March due to the hour-long stay on the tarmac. (with details from Joan Nano)

DOTr calls on PUV operators to help displaced conductors

Aileen Cerrudo   •   May 10, 2021

MANILA, Philippines—Department of Transportation (DOTr) Secretary Arthur Tugade has called on public utility vehicle (PUV) operators to help their personnel.

The agency has received reports and photos of displaced PUV conductors asking the government for jobs and assistance.

Tugade reiterated his directive to the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) to find ways of helping  displaced PUV personnel heavily affected by the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

“Doon sa matutulungan at mabibigyan ng hanap-buhay, bigyan natin sila ng hanap-buhay. Makiisa at makipag-ugnayan kayo sa ating mga kasamahan na kung kwalipikado naman at physically fit na magtrabaho sa lansanagan bilang isang draybe o konduktor, bigyan natin sila ng pagkakataon,”  he said.

He reiterated that the department has various programs including Service Contracting, Tsuper Iskolar under Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA). These programs can can assist drivers and conductors in securing jobs and gaining more knowledge for better opportunities.

Tugade also pushed for a massive information dissemination to bring awareness to various DOTr programs. AAC

 

Philippines receives additional 1.5 million doses of Sinovac vaccine from China

Marje Pelayo   •   May 7, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — Onboard Cebu Pacific chartered flight 5J671, additional 1.5 million doses of Sinovac vaccine from China arrived at Terminal 2 of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) at exactly 7:58 AM on Friday (May 7).

Health Secretary Francisco Duque III and vaccine czar Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. joined in the welcoming of the vaccines.

So far, the shipment is the highest volume of Sinovac COVID-19 vaccine delivered and the seventh batch from China to arrive in the country.

The vaccines were immediately loaded on refrigerated trucks for transportation to a third-party storage facility of the Department of Health (DOH) in Marikina City.

DOTr inaugurates modernized Calbayog Airport in Samar

Aileen Cerrudo   •   May 5, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Transportation (DOTr) and the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) formally inaugurated the modernized Calbayog Airport in Calbayog City, Samar on Wednesday (May 5).

The improvement and modernization of the Calbayog Airport include the construction of the new Passenger Terminal Building (PTB), new apron, and new taxiway.  Completed works also include the widening of the runway.

Once operation begins, Calbayog Airport will serve as the ‘complementary airport’ of the Tacloban Airport and will be able to accommodate a total of 450 passengers from the previous 76 passengers. It will also cater to jet aircraft operations.

CAAP Director General Jim Sydiongco said the modernized Calbayog Airport can boost the Eastern Visayas region’s economic development.

Over 300 more direct jobs will be opened once the new developments are operational. AAC

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