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Cebu Pacific now halfway through P5-B refund claims

/ 05:16 AM September 18, 2020

Budget carrier Cebu Pacific is asking passengers for patience as it works through a pile of refunds that reached almost P5 billion.

Like other airlines, Cebu Pacific has been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, which forced the mass cancellation of flights and prospective trips.

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“We understand how challenging this whole situation is, and we sincerely apologize for the delay,” Cebu Pacific said in an advisory to passengers.

Cebu Pacific said it had already refunded over P2.4 billion to customers but this was just about half of the requests received.

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“Since the start of this pandemic, we have received an unprecedented number of refund requests due to flight cancellations brought about by the lockdown,” Cebu Pacific said.

“Our refund process then was originally not designed to handle this volume of requests, and this resulted in a backlog. We have since then revamped our procedures in order to address this,” it added.

Cebu Pacific said processing of refund request would take about six months.

“We remain committed to our customers to complete pending refunds, and will update them once these have been processed. We are currently halfway through refund requests filed last April,” Cebu Pacific said.

At present, Cebu Pacific has restored just 10 percent of its pre-COVID network.

Cebu Air Inc, which operates Cebu Pacific, announced a P9.1-billion loss in the first half of 2020, which included the almost three-month lockdown of major cites across the Philippines.

The loss reverses a P7.14-billion profit in the January to June 2019.

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With the recent signing of the Bayanihan to Recover as One Act, airlines will have the option to stop issuing refunds for new requests while the law is in effect.

Under the law, they will be allowed to issue travel vouchers instead.

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