CAB ordered to look into Cebu Pacific flight incident at NAIA tarmac; airline issues apology
The Department of Transportation (DOTr) has ordered an investigation into an incident shown on a video uploaded on Facebook of passengers in panic, who were trying to force airline personnel to let them deplane from a Cebu Pacific flight that was waiting for a long time to get clearance to take off at the tarmac of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).
In an advisory Saturday morning, the DOTr said that it has already instructed the Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) to look into the matter.
“Should DOTr-CAB find out that Cebu Pacific Flight 5J 575 went beyond the prescribed 2-hour period to deplane its passengers due to long tarmac delays, Cebu Pacific shall be held liable for the penalty prescribed under the regulation,” the DOTr said.
Lawyer Wyrlou Samodito, chief legal officer of CAB, has already directed the airline to investigate the matter thoroughly and to submit an incident report within one hour from notice.
“Further, if found to have violated the regulation, the pilot shall likewise be held liable as he has the obligation to order the deplaning,” DOTr said.
As of 4 p.m. on Saturday, the Facebook post of Gin Durano already garnered more than 5,800 reactions, 16 comments, and 27,000 shares.
In her post, Durano said, “Babies are crying, old people are complaining and there’s a woman got suffocated and now she has oxygen on because she can’t breathe.”
“We’ve been here for more than an hour inside the plane. Freaking damn hot! They didn’t even do anything to deplane us until the woman pass(ed) out!” she added.
“Super Love You Cebu Pacific!” she said sarcastically.
Cebu Pacific, in a statement, “sincerely apologize[d] for any inconvenience these incidents may have caused and appeal[ed] for understanding.”
The airline said one passenger aboard flight 5J 575 fainted while the aircraft was waiting for clearance to take off for Cebu from the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) on Friday.
“Said passenger was given emergency medical assistance onboard while an ambulance was called,” the airline said.
Following reports from their crew that cabin temperature was warm, the airline said it offered passengers water and immediately arranged for a change in aircraft.
The flight, which was supposed to leave Manila at 5:05 p.m., finally left NAIA at 7:32 p.m. and landed at 8:52 p.m. in Cebu.
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