Monday, July 20, 2009

Boracay Runway Problems

MANILA, Philippines - Hundreds of passengers of Philippine Airlines, Cebu Pacific and Zest Air, especially those on their way back to Manila after a weekend on the white sand beaches of Boracay, were stranded overnight when a runway problem caused the closure of the Kalibo airport yesterday afternoon.

The Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines issued a notice to airmen (NOTAM) to all three airlines operating flights at the Kalibo airport informing them of the closure of the airport from 4 p.m. yesterday until 7 a.m. today.

According to the NOTAM, the reason for the closure was “damaged asphalt” at the runway.

The airport’s closure stranded all passengers departing from Kalibo airport, mostly foreign and local tourists who came from the world-famous resort island of Boracay.

Michelle de Guzman, Cebu Pacific corporate communications manager, said they had two extra flights yesterday to accommodate the passengers of their three Manila-bound flights affected by the airport closure.

Cebu Pacific had seven flights from Manila to Kalibo and their returning flights, and one flight from Cebu to Kalibo and its returning flight that were cancelled.

Philippine Airlines had three flights cancelled while another Kalibo-bound flight from Manila, PR 323, was diverted to the Iloilo International Airport from which it was made to fly back to Manila.

Zest Air cancelled three Kalibo-bound flights.

PAL and Cebu Pacific had diverted their flights to and from Caticlan airport, the alternative gateway to Boracay, to Kalibo airport after airport authorities made changes in the operating conditions at the Caticlan airport.

Caticlan is the nearest airport to Boracay while the bigger Kalibo airport is about two hours’ drive from Caticlan.

PAL complained of the landing weight limitations while Cebu Pacific criticized the changes on airport operations imposed by the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP).

The CAAP designated the Caticlan airport as a one-way airport, which means take-off should be towards the sea, and landing in the opposite direction.

This essentially shortens the portion of the airport runway that could be used. These changes were made after a Zest Air flight overshot the runway of Caticlan airport last month.

PAL and Cebu Pacific said that they would shoulder the land transfer cost from Kalibo to Caticlan for passengers who have original bookings for Caticlan.

1 comment:

睡衣 said...

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