Gov’t notes improvement in local airlines’ on-time performance
The country’s two biggest airlines cut flight delays significantly weeks after signing a commitment to improve on-time performance (OTP).
The Department of Transportation issued a statement on Friday that showed Philippine Airlines’ OTP improve from an average of almost 80 percent in June to 82 percent in the first two weeks of July. Budget airline Cebu Pacific’s OTP went up from 60 percent in June to 77 percent so far this month.
OTP measures how often a flight departs or arrives within 15 minutes of its original schedule. Going beyond 15 minutes means a lower OTP rating.
“I thank PAL and Cebu Pacific for their efforts to improve OTP. It is my hope that this be increased, and that more and more airlines follow suit,” Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade said in the statement.
Airline stakeholders last June 26 signed a pledge with the DOTr to improve passenger convenience, support the decongestion of main gateway Ninoy Aquino International Airport and the development of Sangley Airport in nearby Cavite province.
“Coordinated and concerted efforts from all stakeholders resulted in OTP improvement at the Naia and we will remain in cooperation with the government under the pledge of commitment to ease the travel of the public,” Michael Ivan Shau, Cebu Pacific chief operations officer, said in a statement.
Adding pressure was the daily publication of OTP, which the DOTr implemented in mid-May this year. The Civil Aeronautics Board separately requires all domestic airlines to submit monthly reports on their OTP.
CAB Executive Director Carmelo Arcilla said the government would use the data to determine whether an airline was operating routes with “chronic delays”.
The government is taking a tougher stance on delays as it grapples with a bigger problem: Growing air traffic demand amid inadequate airport infrastructure.
A government-backed plan to bid out Naia’s expansion and operations was scrapped at the start of the Duterte administration.
In response, private sector unsolicited offers emerged to fill the void. At the forefront is Naia Consortium, an alliance of seven conglomerates seeking to address Naia’s congestion woes over a 15-year period.
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