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Gov’t to airlines: Shape up, address NAIA flight delays

File photo

MANILA, Philippines - The government has instructed airlines to shape up and address the perennial issue of flight delays at the newly refurbished Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).

Jose Angel Honrado, general manager of the Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA), issued the marching orders to the representatives of airlines led by flag carrier Philippine Airlines Inc. (PAL) and budget airline Cebu Air Inc. (Cebu Pacific).

Honrado summoned airline executives to a meeting last Friday to present daily logs of airlines showing flight delays.

During the meeting, he made the distinction that what causes flight delay is not necessarily air traffic congestion but airline companies falling short of meeting their flight schedules.

The record, he pointed out, showed that delays in the first wave of flights from 4 a.m. to 7 a.m. have affected succeeding flights during the day.

From a three-day average in January this year, Honrado said a total of 27 flights were delayed during the first wave resulting in an average of 103 delayed flights for the rest of the day.

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Similarly, he explained that a total of 10 delayed flights were recorded from a three-day average in February resulted in 45 delayed flights throughout the day.

Honrado told airline executives that flight delays were caused by prolonged aircraft servicing on the ground and late arrival of aircraft from its point of origin.

He reiterated that NAIA is capable enough to accommodate all flights so air traffic congestion is not the issue causing the flight delays.

In 2014 alone, a total of 236,442 arriving and departing flights were recorded among all terminals – or an average of 648 flights a day.

According to Honrado, airlines should meet their flight schedules for the benefit of their passengers.

As a solution, he added that airlines should hasten ground servicing of aircraft and to adjust passenger loading time.

On the other hand, the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) also proposed a workshop for airlines to further discuss solutions to flight delay.

In January, the Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) imposed a record P52.1 million fine on Cebu Pacific over flight delays arising from cancelled flights during the Christmas holidays affecting 10,400 passengers.



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