Philippine Airlines is suspending more than 120 flights from Nov. 15 to 20 following the government’s appeal to carriers to reduce the number of flights at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport in line with the transition phase leading to an enhanced air navigational system.
“Philippine Airlines is heeding the call by cancelling several flights within the month of November,” said PAL corporate communications head and spokesperson Ma. Cielo Villaluna.
At least 60 domestic flights and 68 international flights will be affected by the said cancellation.
Among the domestic flights affected are to and from Bacolod, Iloilo, Dumaguete, Cagayan de Oro, Dipolog, Tacloban, Puerto Princesa, Laoag, Kalibo, Tagbilaran, Davao, Cotabato, and General Santos.
The international flights affected are to and from Hong Kong, Dubai, Pudong, Narita, Singapore, Dammam, Bangkok, Jakarta, Riyadh, Melbourne, Fukuoka, Denpasar, Doha, and Xiamen.
Villaluna said affected passengers who have provided their email addresses when they booked their original flights will receive notifications of the cancellation.
“We are advising affected passengers to rebook their flights within thirty days from original travel date; rebooking fees will be waived. Other options available are rerouting and refunding,” she added.
On Thursday, Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines officials said a number of domestic and international flights at the NAIA were canceled by airlines in response to the government’s call to reduce the number of flights.
CAAP chief information officer and spokesperson Eric Apolonio said the request was addressed to all airlines and will be affecting arriving flights from Nov.15 to 20.
“The flight reduction has been coordinated amongst Philippine-based airlines and the Airport Coordination Australia (ACA). It is the airlines’ discretion as to which flights to cancel,” said Apolonio.
The NAIA, the country’s premier gateway, currently caters to 40 flights each hour. With the reduction of flights, at least four arrival flights will be canceled per hour.
Apolonio said the reduction of flights was decided as a safety measure as the old Manila ACC radar, which has a limited capacity, undergoes a transition phase to the Communications, Navigation, Surveillance/Air Traffic Management (CNS/ATM) system, which can cover the whole country.
The CNS/ATM system is expected to enhance the safety and efficiency of air traffic and airspace management in the country.
“The CAAP wishes to advise the public that this necessary measure is only temporary and will be effective for a short period to ensure a smooth transition and cut over process from the old radar system to a more enhanced air navigation system,” said Apolonio.
He added that the new system will provide a safer and more efficient air travel that will ultimately inure to the benefit of all for the flying public.