Home » Aviation, Breaking News » PAL: A month needed before operations normalize

Philippine Airlines said it could take a month before its operations return to normal after last Tuesday’s wildcat strike by members of the PAL Employees Association.

Flights resumed on Wednesday although not before 14,000 passengers were stranded. The airline’s normal daily carrying capacity is 20,000-25,000.

An updated company tally said a total of 104 flights were cancelled last Wednesday with only 36 flights taking off, half of them international.

“PAL apologizes to the passengers for the inconvenience caused by the flight cancellations and unexpected delays,” the  airline said in a statement, noting that it “expects to return to normal operations within a month.”

Last Tuesday’s strike was in protest of the loss-making ’s outsourcing program that would put 2,600 staff in in-flight catering,  services and call center reservation out of a job starting October 1.

PAL replaced the strikers with “trained management volunteers”. Designated service providers – Sky Logistics, Sky Kitchen and SPi Global – will formally take over the airline’s ground-handling, catering and call-center reservations functions, respectively.

President Benigno Aquino III said strikers could face criminal charges.

“What is clear right now is, under the Civil Aviation Act of 2008, any disruption is punishable,” he said after returning to the Philippines from a state visit in Japan.

Aquino said government lawyers were studying whether the crime of “economic sabotage” was committed and, if so, the strikers could be jailed for up to three years and each fined P500,000.

 

Photo by kamerakamote

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