'Faulty planning, no malice' in Cebu Pacific cancellations: regulator

ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 17 2019 10:29 AM | Updated as of May 17 2019 10:48 AM

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MANILA -- An unprecedented wave of flight cancellations at Cebu Pacific was due to "faulty planning" and was done without malice, the Philippines' air regulator said Friday, as he defended the agency's decision not to fine the carrier.

The "stern warning" on the country's largest airline, which was also asked to submit a corrective plan in 30 days, amounted to a "call for compliance," said Civil Aeronautics Board Executive Director Carmello Arcilla.

Arcilla cited a 1975 Supreme Court decision, wherein the tribunal said Philippine Airlines could be fined only if there was "willfulness and malice," Arcilla told DZMM.

"Wala kaming nakitang malice. Ang nakita namin, faulty planning kung kaya't konkretong programa ang aming babantayan," Arcilla said.

(We saw no malice. What we saw was faulty planning that's why we are monitoring concrete programs.)

Unlike flight cancellations in December 2014 that resulted in a fine for the Gokongwei-led carrier, Arcilla said the cancellations last April were announced beforehand.

Arcilla said inconvenienced passengers could invoke the Air Passengers Bill of Rights or file complaints before small claims courts.

"Yung desisyon sa Cebu Pacific, walang kinalalaman sa karapatan ng mga apekatdong pasahero," he said.

(Our decision on Cebu Pacific has nothing to do with the rights of affected passengers.)

Bayan Muna party-list Rep. Carlos Isagani Zarate said he would seek a n investigation on the cancellations by the House Committee on Transportation.