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CAB to slap penalties on airlines for chronic flight delays

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The Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) will impose penalties on domestic airlines that have chronically delayed and cancelled flights, including possible fines and suspension of operations.

CAB Resolution No. 65, adopted last October and published last month, provides the board’s rules regarding chronically delayed and cancelled flights of domestic flight services that are operated 10 times or more within a month in a given city-pair market.

CAB said persistent flight delays and cancellations “have become a chronic issue that create downstream effects that disrupt the entire airline operations, causing unnecessary inconvenience to the riding public necessitating the President to call attention to the issue.”

It added that “the practice of continuously holding out a chronically delayed or cancelled flight which the airline is aware of [as having] the strong likelihood of delay or cancellation, redounds to faulty planning and unrealistic scheduling tantamount to deceptive practice for which the airline should be made accountable by using corrective measure and/or penalty.”

Under Resolution No. 65, a flight is considered delayed if it arrived at the gate more than 30 minutes later than its scheduled arrival time.

A chronically delayed flight refers to one that, in a period of one month, has more than 50% of the total operated flights arriving more than 30 minutes later than their scheduled arrival time at the gate.

A chronically cancelled flight, on the other hand, is one where, in a period of one month, more than 50% of the total approved schedules were cancelled at least 24 hours before their scheduled time of departure.

So that the delays could be measured, air carriers should file with CAB every 15th of the month a flight report for each covered flight with the required information, including the published scheduled time of departure and arrival for each scheduled operation and the actual departure time and arrival, as well as actual chocks-off time and chocks-on time for each operation of the flight.

All air carriers are required under Resolution No. 65 to establish a realistic schedule or target in order to prevent or minimize flight delays and cancellations. They must also ensure that all flight information display systems contain up-to-date and accurate flight information.

Air carriers with flights identified as chronically delayed and/or chronically cancelled are required to immediately institute corrective actions to prevent such practices from continuing.

“Continuously holding out a chronically delayed and/or chronically cancelled flight for four consecutive months or more involves faulty planning and unrealistic scheduling, constituting unfair and deceptive practice contrary to the terms and conditions of the permit, may subject the airline to a fine in accordance with existing rules and regulations, and/or cause the suspension or revocation of the permit to operate air services,” said Resolution No. 65.

It added that violations of its other provisions will be met with a corresponding sanction.

Last year, the Department of Transportation started publishing airline on-time performance (OTP) daily to push for improved performance and promote the airlines’ accountability to the air-riding public.

OTP—one of the measures of aviation and airport efficiency—indicates the percentage of flight departures and arrivals that takes place within 15 minutes from schedule, including cancellations.

Last October, the Air Carriers’ Association of the Philippines (ACAP) said combined OTP of several Philippine air carriers at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport increased to 78% in the period July to September, as compared to the 65% rating in the first quarter of the year and 62% for the second quarter.

PAL reported an all-time high OTP rating of 92% in October, following ratings of 80%, 82%, and 89% in July, August, and September, respectively.

Cebu Pacific registered an OTP of 84.71% for October, an improvement from 80.66% in September.


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