Cebu Pacific spared from penalties
The country’s leading budget airline, Cebu Pacific Air, will not be penalized for a series of unusual flight cancellations between April and May that affected thousands of passengers, the Civil Aeronautics Board said.
After two hearings and an investigation into the cancellation of over 172 flights over two weeks in the midst of the busy summer season, the CAB instead issued a “stern warning” and ordered Cebu Pacific to submit, within 30 days, correctives measures to prevent a repeat of the event.
“We are hoping that Cebu Pacific will immediately comply with the order to resolve this issue,” Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade said in the statement.
Cebu Pacific spokesperson Charo Logarta Lagamon said the company would comply and review “our internal processes and procedure to make every effort to improve our service to our passengers.”
The lack of a financial penalty was interpreted by some observers as an indirect admission on the part of the government that it shared some of the blame.
In its statement, the CAB said Cebu Pacific ordered the cancellations to restore deteriorating on-time performance.
Based on industry standards, a flight is on time if it leaves within 15 minutes of the scheduled departure time.
During the hearings, Cebu Pacific said it could take anywhere from 49 minutes to 66 minutes from the time the doors close to actual liftoff. Moreover, the CAB discovered that such ground delays consumed “working hours and reserves” of the airline’s crew.
“It is in this sense that CAB finds Cebu Pacific to have ‘crewing problem,”’ the CAB noted.
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