Cebu Pacific announces more domestic flight cancelations; gov’t says airline could face sanctions

Photo: ABS-CBN News
Photo: ABS-CBN News

What’s wrong with Cebu Pacific?

One of the Philippines’ major airlines announced last night that it’s canceling 58 more domestic flights which were originally scheduled from May 1 to May 10.

In a Facebook post that appeared on its official account, Cebu Pacific said that they were truly sorry for the inconvenience caused by the cancelations. The flights canceled were mostly from Manila to other major Philippine cities such as Cebu, Dumaguete, Iloilo, Bacolod, and Legazpi. Majority of netizens reacted angrily to the airline’s post.

Cebu Pacific explained that the flights were canceled because they “have seen an unprecedented level of disruption to our operations,” though it didn’t elaborate on what these specific disruptions are.

Prior to this announcement, the company said on Sunday that it is canceling 24 domestic flights scheduled for April 28 to April 30. On Friday, it also announced the cancelation of several flights from Cebu and Manila to several cities.

Amidst the slew of cancelations, the government’s Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) said today that Cebu Pacific could possibly face penalties. CAB’s chief legal officer Wyrlou Samodio said in an interview on the ANC’s news show Early Edition today that they are confused by Cebu Pacific’s various reasons for canceling flights.

He also said that they were shocked upon learning that the company announced a fresh wave of flight cancelations last night.

The CAB is currently investigating why Cebu Pacific had to cancel its flights.

“It’s slightly confusing if you give several reasons,” he said in a mix of English and Filipino. “That means you yourself is (sic) not sure of what is going on. Since Sunday we have been coordinating with Cebu Pacific and several government agencies to find out the real reason for cancelations.”

Samodio also said that in his more than 10 years at the CAB, this is the first time that he has seen one airline cancel so many flights in just a few days.

“If there are violations, definitely they (Cebu Pacific) will be meted out with appropriate penalty (sic),” he said.

The CAB said that it will release the results of its investigation into the fiasco within this week, GMA News reported.

Cebu Pacific’s corporate communications director Charo Logarta Lagamon told Rappler that the cancelations were done because some of their planes were not working properly.

“We had a couple of planes damaged during bird strike incidents, and some with technical concerns. These factors are causing a domino effect in our operations,” she said.

In a separate interview with the GMA news show State of the Nation with Jessica Soho, Logarta also cited technical issues as to why the Cebu Pacific had to cancel so many domestic flights.

“There are technical issues with the aircraft so they can’t fly. There are so many flights in and out of Manila and so it creates a situation where the flight times cannot be completed, the routes couldn’t be completed,” she said.

“We have no other words but to say sorry. We hope that we can make it up in the future. We are doing all we can to assist the affected passengers,” she added.

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