Cebu Pacific told to submit corrective plan, ‘crewing problem’ found

MANILA – Cebu Pacific was given 30 days to submit a plan detailing corrective measures aimed at preventing a repeat of a wave of flight cancellations that started in April, authorities said Wednesday.

The Civil Aeronautics Board recommended that a “stern warning” be given to the country’s largest carrier, which was found to have had “crewing problem,” The Department of Transportation said in a statement.

Cebu Pacific applied for cancellation of 172 one-way domestic flights from April 28 to May 10, equivalent to about 14 flights a day, out of its 400 daily domestic flights, the DOTr said.

“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,” Transportation Sec. Arthur Tugade said.

(We can no longer take back the inconvenience these cancellations have caused.)

The airline earlier denied allegations that the cancellations were due to lack of crew. However, two Cebu Pacific personnel told ABS-CBN News that its manpower was under strain.

Citing the CAB investigation, the DOTr said additional time spent by the crew on the tarmac while waiting for flights to take off “consumes the working hours and reserves that were supposed to be utilized at a much later schedule.”

“Hence, it is in this sense that CAB finds Cebu Pacific to have “crewing problem,” it said. 

Cebu Pacific’s on-time performance dipped to a low of 30 percent low in March from the 51.16 percent. The time from closing the aircraft door to lift-off can also reach as long as 66 minutes.

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