Xiamen Airlines to pay millions in fines to MIAA, says official

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 21 2018 09:27 AM

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MANILA - Xiamen Airlines, whose plane overshot the runway at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport and paralyzed operations for 2 days, will be made to pay damages to the airport authority here, an official said Tuesday.

The Manila International Airport Authority is still computing the fines it will impose on the Chinese airline, but the crane it had to use to lift the Boeing 737 jet off the runway cost about P4 million at least, said General Manager Ed Monreal.

Together with the expenses incurred including manpower and equipment rental, Monreal estimates their expenses to be about P15 million so far.

MIAA will also charge the carrier for the revenue it lost in landing and take-off, Monreal told ANC's Headstart.

He said it is up to the passengers or the airlines affected if they want to sue Xiamen Airlines for consequential damages.

"For the consequential, that will be entirely to the passengers or the airlines if they want to file a case against Xiamen Airlines. What we will do is damage and expenses incurred by the authorities because we do not have any basis for the other consequential damages," he said.

According to the Passenger Bill of Rights, if a flight is delayed at least three hours after the estimated time of departure, whether or not the cause is attributable to the carrier, passengers are entitled to refreshments or meals, free phone calls, text or e-mails, and first aid.

Passengers are also entitled to be reimbursed of the value of the fare, taxes and surcharges, and other optional fees, to be endorsed to another air carrier without paying any fare difference, and to rebook the ticket without additional charge if a flight is cancelled.

Monreal said he met with the chairman of the carrier and several other officials on Tuesday and they were "apologetic" for the situation.

"'I am accepting apologies. However you have to apologize to the disrupted passenger. You owe it to the Filipino people to come up with a public apology, which they did in the afternoon after our meeting," he told officials of Xiamen Airlines.

Xiamen Airlines issued the apology on Twitter, saying it “will do everything in its power to assist passengers.”

The jet was removed from the runway Saturday after it forced the cancellation of some 200 flights, but operations at NAIA will only be back to normal on Tuesday, according to Monreal.