May 16, 2019
THE Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) will not to issue fines against low-budget carrier Cebu Pacific, despite the more than a hundred flight cancellations it made in late April and the massive disruptions these caused, as the concerns of affected passengers were “handled properly.”
A statement from the Department of Transportation (DoTr) said on Wednesday penalties were not slapped on the Gokongwei-led airline after the air-transport regulator found that the concerns of thousands of affected flyers were “handled properly by Cebu Pacific in compliance with the Air Passenger Bill of Rights.”
“Thus, [the] imposition of penalties was not considered at present,” CAB said.
Instead, it advised that Cebu Pacific be given a “stern warning…to exercise diligence necessary in maintaining stability and reliability of air transport service to the riding public.”
CAB also required the airline to submit within 30 days a concrete plan of corrective measures to avoid such mass cancellations.
“We are hoping that Cebu Pacific will immediately comply with the order to resolve this issue,” Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade was quoted as saying in the statement.
“[M]oving forward, we aim to have more substantial actions so that our passengers will not have to suffer,” he added.
For its part, Cebu Pacific said in a statement that it “will comply with the directive from the Civil Aeronautics Board and submit a plan to further improve our operations.”
“We are also reviewing our internal processes and procedure to make every effort to improve our service to our passengers,” it added.
The airline, CAB said, applied for the cancellation of 172 one-way domestic flights from April 28 to May 10, affecting more than 20,000 flyers.
Cebu Pacific said it was facing declines in on-time performance (OTP), wherein the aircraft’s closing of its doors to actual lift-off took 66 minutes.
This forced the cancellation of more flights, which were necessary to “create more space,” “minimize rolling delays” and to pave a way for “operational recovery,” it added.
During its investigation, CAB also saw a “crewing problem” caused by “the additional time spent by on-duty crew on the tarmac, [which] consumes the working hours and reserves that were supposed to be utilized at a much later schedule.”
CAB did not find any issue with Cebu Pacific’s assets or aircraft.
“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 in the statement.
“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.
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