MANILA – Flag carrier Philippine Airlines (PAL) on Wednesday canceled eight international flights from Manila as several of its planes are grounded.
These flights are PR 382 Canton (Guangzhou), PR 318 Hong Kong, PR 408 Kansai, PR 501 Singapore, PR 740 Bangkok, PR 110 Guam, PR 432 Narita and PR 426 Fukuoka.
"These flight cancellations are consequential to the grounding of several aircraft," PAL said in a statement, adding that the affected passengers are reaccommodated on the next available flights, rerouted or refunded.
Their tickets can also be converted to travel vouchers.
PAL spokesperson Cielo Villaluna told the Philippine News Agency that several flights to Bangkok, Hong Kong, Narita and Singapore are proceeding.
She clarified that there is only one flight each to Fukuoka, Canton, Guam and Kansai on Wednesday and all these were canceled.
Villaluna earlier admitted that the recurring cancellations and delays of both PAL domestic and international flights for the past weeks were due to aircraft maintenance.
The flag carrier, in a statement, said the cancellations are "primarily due to the increase in the number of aircraft on preventive maintenance as a result of high utilization brought about by revenge travel or high travel demand".
Some aircraft require preventive maintenance earlier than scheduled, and unforeseen maintenance issues arise, impacting the flight rotations, PAL said.
Cebu Pacific apologizes to passengers
Meanwhile, low-cost carrier Cebu Pacific (CEB) has been the subject of complaints posted on social media due to long delays and abrupt flight cancellations.
The carrier was called for a Senate hearing on this issue on Wednesday.
"We express our sincerest apologies to our passengers for the disruptions and assure that we are committed to resolving these challenges," said CEB president Xander Lao in his statement.
He said CEB has implemented various measures to enhance operations and assist the affected customers.
These include activating a disruption management team; increasing live chat agents; and improving policies and processes for disruption handling and communication.
"We acknowledge that these actions may still be insufficient for affected passengers, and we are actively managing the situation and assessing how we can provide better care during this recovery period," Lao said.
In a statement, the CEB said the problem is primarily driven by fleet availability issues affecting the global aviation industry, along with specific environmental factors.
"There is a global problem affecting the airline industry with over 120 grounded Pratt and Whitney-powered Airbus aircraft around the world. While CEB provisioned double the level of recommended spare engines as early as last year, we were advised in March 2023 that we would no longer receive the spare engines support that Pratt and Whitney had previously indicated," the airline said.
CEB experienced a number of incidents such as ground damage from runway debris that created additional long-term grounded aircraft, it added.
The low-cost airline also cited the rainy season, when there has been "much higher occurrence of Red Lightning Alerts," which require the suspension of all flight and ground activities at the airport.
CEB said it has reduced its flight schedules to account for the long-term unserviceable aircraft and enable more planes on standby.
The standby aircraft have been increased from three to four and will increase to six by year end, CEB said. (PNA)