The major airlines started returning to normal operations at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport on Tuesday following minor disruptions at the facility caused by the Taal Volcano eruption last Sunday.
“We are in the process of operating replacement flights on certain routes to assist the passengers affected by the recent cancellations, and in a few cases we are upgrading certain flights to larger-capacity wide-body aircraft to deal with the overflow of affected passengers,” said Cielo Villaluna, spokesman of Philippine Airlines.
“Nearly all of our scheduled flights are operating regularly, although some with timing adjustments. It will take time to work through schedule recovery efforts as we redistribute the fleet, undertake rigorous additional inspections and maintenance checks of our Manila-based and Clark-based aircraft to ensure safety, and adjust to airport slotting constraints and airspace restrictions.”
MIAA general manager Eddie Monreal has ordered the suspension of the daily maintenance closure of NAIA’S main runway to give way to recovery flight operations.
Runway 06-24 undergoes de-rubberizing and de-greasing daily from 1:30 a.m to 3:30 a.m.
A total of 516 flights were affected by the suspension of NAIA operations from 6 p.m. on Jan. 12 to 9 a.m. on Jan. 13. Out of this, 283 were arriving flights while 233 accounted for departures.
Since the resumption of operations, 360 flights have already left and arrived via NAIA.
PAL said it was compelled to cancel 15 flights—12 domestic and three international—scheduled Tuesday morning and arranged for a replacement flights.
“To accommodate affected passengers of the above cancellations, we are arranging for a replacement Manila-Davao-Manila flight to operate this afternoon, for the upgrading of our PR 732/733 Manila-Bangkok-Manila service tonight from Airbus A321 to a larger A330 aircraft, and for a replacement Manila-Nagoya flight to operate early tomorrow morning,” the airline said.
PAL said it would continue to work in collaboration with airport and aviation authorities, and its service providers, to closely monitor the ongoing Taal Volcano situation so that the aviation industry could respond appropriately to any further developments.
The operations of Cebu Pacific Air in and out of the Manila airport were also back to normal.
Manila International Airport Authority general manager Eddie Monreal said NAIA was operating 24 hours to accommodate more flights. He says the airport usually operates in 22 hours, with two hours allotted for maintenance.
He said the airport went on partial operations last Monday, and only because the capacity of the runway, which is 40 movements, could not be fully achieved.
More than 500 flights and 25,000 passengers were affected by the temporary closure of NAIA due to the effects of the volcano’s eruption last Sunday.