DOTr seeks ‘verifiable basis’ after NAIA named world’s worst business class airport

DOTr seeks �verifiable basis� after NAIA named world�s worst business class airport
NAIA now joins the ranks of its neighbor airports with concrete taxiway pavements, according to the DOTr.
STAR / File

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Transportation wishes to “seek a verifiable basis” on a study that named the country’s Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) as the “worst business class airport in the world.”

The study was released by worldwide luggage storage app Bounce, which the DOTr said “has no operation whatsoever in the Philippines.”

:While the 'study' shows unfavorable rating and unsubstantiated claims about NAIA, it cannot be denied that significant improvements have been carried out in the country's main gateway in the past six years under the Duterte administration,” the DOTr added.

Bounce rated the country’s main gateway based on its 14 lounges listed on LoungeBuddy, 101 destinations it serves based on data from Wikipedia, said 59.6% of annual on-time flight performance based on OAG, and the 3 out of 5 rating it received from Skytrax.

NAIA received an overall score of 0.88 out of 10. The country posted the lowest score in three categories: its number of destinations, timely performance, and its rating from Skytrax.

READ: NAIA tagged as worst business class airport in the world in int'l study

The DOTr clarified that bilateral and air service negotiations dictate the number of destinations it can serve, while it is the airlines that decide on whether or not to put up business class lounges in certain airports.

“It is also important to note that NAIA is a destination airport and not a hub airport, which is why there are not much business class lounges and onward destinations,” the department said.

The department added that it is “highly implausible” that their on-time performance weighed on their alleged rating, citing data from the Air Carriers Association of the Philippines that showed the airlines’ on-time performance stood at 83% on average before the onset of the pandemic.

It also noted that NAIA made it to Skytrax’ own “World’s Most Improved Airports” in its 2018 World Airport Awards. 

“Since then, we have already undertaken more improvements in our facilities all geared to improve the entire passenger experience of a traveler,” the DOTr said.

The department said it already implemented improvements and smoothed out issues such as the baggage pilferage schemes, took on rehabilitation and renovation activities, among others. — Kaycee Valmonte with report from Franco Luna

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