August 4, 2008

Weather, Aircraft Problems Cause Delays

By Darwin G. Amojelar, The Manila Times, Philippines

Aug. 5--The Manila International Airport Authority on Monday said aircraft-related problems and operational adjustments at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 3 are to blame for several cancelled domestic flights.

Worse, problems may persist for up to two months.

Since the modern terminal started operations, passengers have complained of flights cancellation, lack of flight-schedule information and personnel.

Tirso Serrano, the airport authority's assistant general manager, said the causes of the delay are mostly aircraft-related problems. "They have to do maintenance checks."

But Serrano added that the airport authority is not passing the blame to the airline carriers. "What we are experiencing is expected. The important thing is that the management is on top of the situation."

He said the airport authority would install a modern flight information display system to update flight schedules of passengers to prevent confusion.

He expects to address the problems in a month or couple of months.

In a statement released also on Monday, Cebu Pacific said most of its flights would experience delays as a result of bad weather, extended maintenance on two aircraft and operational adjustments at Terminal 3.

The Gokongwei-led airline carrier said 12 flights were cancelled, including the one from Manila to Butuan, Naga, Tuguegarao, Cebu and two flights bound for Caticlan plus their return flights.

The airline is taking various measures to address the needs of affected passengers, Cebu Pacific said.

"We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused and thank our passengers for their patience and understanding. We are doing our best to bring operations back to normal in the soonest possible time," according to the statement.

On August 1, Cebu Pacific transferred its domestic and international flights to Terminal 3. The airline expects to carry seven million passengers this year, compared to almost 5.5 million passengers last year.

Besides Cebu Pacific, PAL Express and Air Philippines have already transferred their domestic operations to Terminal 3.


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