Cebu Pacific cancels 20 flights

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Monday, June 3, 2013

MANILA (2nd Update, 1:24 p.m.) -- Cebu Pacific Air has cancelled 20 roundtrip flights to and from Davao on Monday following the rough landing of a plane at the Davao International Airport on Sunday night.

Flight 5J 971 from Manila was travelling amid heavy rain Sunday night with 165 passengers onboard when it landed safely around 7 p.m. but veered off to the right of the Davao runway. The plane obstructs the runway as of this posting Monday leading to the closure of the airport.

Cebu Pacific in an advisory released Monday said the following are the cancelled flights:

5J 961/962 Manila-Davao-Manila
5J 963/964 Manila-Davao-Manila
5J 959/960 Manila-Davao-Manila
5J 975/966 Manila-Davao-Manila
5J 965/968 Manila-Davao-Manila
5J 977/978 Manila-Davao-Manila
5J 9738/9748 Manila-Davao-Manila
5J 969/972 Manila-Davao-Manila
5J 979/980 Manila-Davao-Manila
5J 971/970 Manila-Davao-Manila
5J 973/974 Manila-Davao-Manila
5J 593/594 Cebu-Davao-Cebu
5J 595/596 Cebu-Davao-Cebu
5J 599/600 Cebu-Davao-Cebu
5J 597/598 Cebu-Davao-Cebu
5J 347/348 Iloilo-Davao-Iloilo
5J 795/796 Davao-Butuan-Davao
5J 698/697 Davao-Dipolog-Davao
5J 393/394 Davao-Zamboanga-Davao
5J 216/215 Davao-Cagayan de Oro-Davao

Based on the latest advisory from the Civil Aviation Authority, the airport is scheduled to re-open at 8 p.m. Monday, flag carrier Philippine Airlines (PAL) said in a separate statement.

"Sec. (Joseph) Abaya instructed CAAP to exert all efforts to clear the Davao Airport runway within the day in order to allow resumption of flights," the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) said on Twitter.

Cebu Pacific said it has arranged for 10 extra roundtrip flights between Manila and General Santos, four extra flights between Cebu and General Santos, one extra flight between Iloilo and General Santos and one extra flight between Zamboanga and General Santos to re-accommodate affected passengers.

"The airline is contacting guests on their re-accommodation, and is providing transfers between General Santos and Davao, as well as meals and hotel accommodations, as necessary," Cebu Pacific said.

Cebu Pacific added that it is doing its best to assist all passengers, and facilitate the removal of the runway obstruction.

PAL, for its part, has upgraded to a wide-bodied aircraft for its General Santos to Manila flight at 4 p.m. to accommodate passengers from Davao who are willing to be re-routed to General Santos.

The airline will take care of the land transfer from Davao to General Santos using air-conditioned buses. All rebooking fees for the affected flights are being waived. PAL will also provide food and drinks for affected passengers.

Nine PAL flights have been cancelled while sister firm PAL Express called off two flights since the incident happened.

Authorities are still looking into what caused the incident on Sunday as of this posting. (Virgil Lopez/Sunnex)

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