The Department of Transportation (DOTr) has ordered an investigation of Cebu Pacific’s compliance with deplaning procedure after tarmac delays caused one woman to faint and left several passengers in a swelter on a flight from Manila to Cebu Friday.
In an advisory Saturday morning, the DOTr ordered the Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) to look into the incident after video and photos of the stifling cabin posted by one passenger went viral.
CAB Chief Legal Officer, lawyer Wyrlou Samodio, directed Cebu Pacific to submit an incident report within an hour of notice.
“Should DOTr-CAB find out that Cebu Pacific Flight 5J 575 went beyond the prescribed 2-hour period to deplane its passengers due to long tarmac delays, Cebu Pacific shall be held liable for the penalty prescribed under the regulation,”the DOTr said in a statement.
“Further, if found to have violated the regulation, the pilot shall likewise be held liable as he has the obligation to order the deplaning,” it said.
In such case, said the DOTr, the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines would take action, having jurisdiction over airmen.
Video posted on Facebook by passenger Gin Durano showed passengers of Cebu Pacific flight 5J 575 fanning themselves, complaining of the heat inside the cabin as departure got delayed.
“Babies are crying, old people are complaining and there’s a woman [who] got suffocated and now she has oxygen on because she can’t breathe. We’ve been here for more than an hour inside the plane.
Freaking d*** hot!,” said Durano.
“They didn’t even do anything until [a] woman passed out. I Super Love You Cebu Pacific!,” she said in sarcasm.
The flight was supposed to leave Manila for Cebu at 5:05 p.m.
In a statement sent to Coconuts Manila, Cebu Pacific said:
“On Friday, June 16, 2017, Flight 5J575 bound for Cebu from Manila encountered a delay due to debris that had to be cleared from the runway. During that time, one passenger fainted, prompting emergency medical assistance. Following reports from our crew that the cabin temperature was warm, Cebu Pacific offered passengers water and immediately arranged for a change in aircraft for the comfort of our passengers. Our cabin crew and ground personnel assisted all passengers and handled the transfer to the replacement aircraft. The flight departed Manila at about 732pm, and landed safely in Cebu at 852pm. We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience these incidents may have caused and appeal for understanding.”