Following an inquiry over a series of flight cancellations between April 28 to May 10, Philippine low cost carrier Cebu Pacific will not be fined by the Philippine Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB).
According to the Philippine Department of Transportation, Cebu Pacific was found to have properly handled the concerns of passengers saying in a statement: “Affected passengers' concerns were found to be handled properly by Cebu Pacific in compliance with the Air Passenger Bill of Rights. Thus, imposition of penalties was not considered at present.”
Cebu Pacific's cancellations started between April 28-30, followed by an additional round of cancellations between May 1-10. In total, over 172 one-way domestic flights were cancelled between April 28 and May 10, prompting Philippine aviation authorities to investigate the matter with two hearings held on May 2 and 6.
The investigation found that Cebu Pacific cancelled the flights in order to improve its on-time performance (OTP), with the airline disclosing during hearings earlier in the month that its aircraft turnaround time after arrival was around 49 to 66 minutes. Along with the time the aircraft was on the ground, the airline was also found to have a “crewing problem” with the DOT saying: "The Board was convinced with the scenario that the additional time spent by on-duty crew on the tarmac consumes the working hours and reserves that were supposed to be utilized at a much later schedule.”
We are hoping that Cebu Pacific will immediately comply with the order to resolve this issue. Hindi na natin maibabalik pa ‘yung dinulot na inconvenience these cancellations have caused (We will not be able to reverse the inconvenience these cancellations caused). But moving forward, we aim to have more substantial actions so that our passengers will not have to suffer,” Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade said.
The CAB is now requesting Cebu Pacific to submit a plan within 30 days for a “concrete plan of corrective measures” to mitigate the effects on customers from similar mass flight cancellations.