PAL, Cebu Pacific, AirAsia struggling to return to normal operations

Local airlines said it would take time to fully normalize their operations after a severe power outage at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport disrupted 270 flights, leaving tens of thousands of travelers stranded and forcing authorities to close the Philippines’ airspace.

Bilyonaryo Lucio Tan’s Philippine Airlines (PAL) said while flight operations have returned to normal today following the restoration of the Manila air traffic management system, it still had to cancel several flights.

“It will take some time to fully restore normal schedules as we reposition aircraft that had been held back or diverted to other airports and adjust flight timings based on revised clearances in coordination with the local authorities,” the flag carrier said.

PAL said it is currently focusing on recovery flight operations into the Manila hub.

Gokongwei-led budget carrier Cebu Pacific said it is also working on the recovery of its network and normalizing operations.

Cebu Pacific likewise canceled additional flights, and has informed its passengers for flights until 11:59 pm of January 3 that they can voluntarily postpone their travel and avail of options such as free rebooking or travel fund.

For its part, AirAsia Philippines said it is implementing additional flight adjustments through a recovery flight on January 3 as it strives “to normalize the operations in all of our airport destinations.”

“Again, our sincerest apologies for any inconvenience caused by this unforeseen disruption. This is beyond our control but AirAsia is working closely with government and airport authorities until we fully resolve the situation,” the low-cost carrier said.

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