Philippine government to implement measures addressing flight delays

The Manila International Airport Authority

THE Manila International Airport Authority next month will implement a new measure to address the continuing problem of flight delay at the country’s premier airport.

In a statement, the MIAA said ten flight movements will be grouped per 15-minute block periods to ensure compliance with the new policy of having a maximum of 40 movements per hour. This new policy came on the heels of a meeting early this week by the MIAA with officials of the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines, the Civil Aeronautics Board, executives of domestic airlines.

Scheduled arriving and departing flights beyond 10 movements per block time will be retimed and accommodated in the next quarter-hour. Likewise, flights which will be unable to meet their original schedule will be retimed to the next block period to guarantee the on-time performance of other flights.

The new measure were agreed by airline executives, including Philippine Airlines (PAL) President Jaime Bautista, PAL Express Vice President for Ground Operations Bryan Lim, Cebu Pacific Chief Executive Adviser Garry Kingshott, Cebgo President Michael Shau, and Air Asia Zest Chairwoman Maan Hontiveros. They, however, asked MIAA to give more time to review how to align their internal procedures with the new measure.

MIAA general manager Jose Angel Honrado lauded the airline executives for their continued cooperation to address the concerns of the flying public.

“It is high time that the authorities and the airlines set aside differences to enhance the experience of every passenger. Through effective collaboration, this new measure will minimize delays at the NAIA,” Honrado said.

Further consultations will be conducted by the MIAA with foreign airlines and its slot coordinator, Airport Coordination Australia, to finalize the said measure.

Airport officials explained that flight delays were mainly caused by the prolonged aircraft servicing on the ground and late arrivals, while air traffic congestion was due mainly to the difficulty of handling too many aircraft at the terminals. They added there was traffic congestion at the airport even in the early morning hours, and what causes the delays was the airlines’ repeated failure to meet their flight schedules.

Meanwhile, the Cebu Pacific Airline (CEB) welcomed the government’s ratification of the Open Skies agreement allowing designated carriers of ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) countries to operate unlimited flights between capitals, leading to better connectivity and more competitive fares and services. The airline currently offers the most number of flights and destinations to ASEAN from the Philippines.

Currently, CEB flies to 11 destinations in seven ASEAN countries, including Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia (Siem Reap), Indonesia (Bali and Jakarta), Malaysia (Kuala Lumpur and Kota Kinabalu), Singapore, Thailand (Bangkok and Phuket), and Vietnam (Hanoi and Saigon).

Through CEB’s interline agreement with Tigerair Singapore, CEB also offers flights to Myanmar (Yangon), via Singapore. With Open Skies, CEB can add more flights to and from key destinations in ASEAN, to meet the growing travel demand within the region. Passengers from these international destinations may also take advantage of CEB’s lowest year-round fares and widest domestic network, to easily connect to any of the Philippines’ popular islands.

Christian Joel Espiritu
Christian Joel Espiritu is a veteran reporter of a Manila based newspaper. A Bachelor in Journalism degree holder from the Polytechnic University of the Philippines, he started his journalism career as a reporter-trainee of the Philippine Daily Inquirer in the late 80's and early 1990's.

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