All Davao flights cancelled due to runway obstruction

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 03 2013 10:02 AM | Updated as of Jun 03 2013 10:45 PM

Stranded passengers at the Davao City International Airport, which remained non-operational Monday after a Cebu Pacific plane overshot the runway on Sunday evening. Photo by Claire Cornelio, ABS-CBN News Davao

MANILA (2nd UPDATE) – All flights to and from Davao City International Airport were cancelled Monday as the airplane which skidded off the airport's runway has yet to be removed.

All flights remain affected after a Cebu Pacific plane skidded off the runway at around 7:15 p.m. on Sunday. The obstruction has left hundreds of passengers stranded Monday morning.

Cebu Pacific said flight 5J 971 from Manila to Davao landed safely but veered off to the right of the Davao runway during a heavy downpour.

"All 165 passengers were unhurt and safely shuttled to the terminal, where their needs were taken care of," Cebu Pacific said, amid complaints from several passengers of lousy accommodation and allegations that it was not the captain but the first officer who was in control of the plane.

The Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP), meanwhile, has launched an investigation into the incident.

CAAP said the plane will remain on the runway until the investigation finishes. It said the airport's runway will remain closed until 8 p.m. today.

On its official Twitter account, Cebu Pacific said at least 20 of its flights to and from Davao have been cancelled.

"Cebu Pacific 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," Cebu Pacific said.

"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."

Philippine Airlines said it has cancelled 9 flights while PAL Express has cancelled 2.However, the airline is giving stranded passengers another option to fly out of Davao, via General Santos. 

In an advisory, PAL said it has upgraded to a wide-bodied aircraft for its 4 p.m. General Santos - Manila flight in order to accommodate passengers who are stranded in Davao and willing to be re-routed to General Santos.

"PAL is advising affected passengers to get in touch with the airline’s representative in Davao, Branch Manager Andy Mandanas or Supervisor Ephraim Fernandez, with office numbers (082)234-0073 local 2728) and signify their willingness to take the Gen Santos route going to Manila," the airline said. - with reports from May-May Benedicto, dzMM; Hernel Tocmo, ABS-CBN News Davao