MANILA - Philippine Airlines (PAL) on Sunday appealed for understanding from the public amid the cancellation and delay of some flights after a runway closure at the main airport.
The flight disruptions have caused fear among some overseas Filipino workers bound for the Middle East that they may lose their jobs or face jail for failing to return in time to their employers.
A replacement for PAL's flight to Dammam, Saudi Arabia that was cancelled Saturday has been scheduled on Wednesday, August 22, said airline spokesperson Cielo Villaluna.
PAL, she said, was still planning a replacement for its cancelled flight to Riyadh.
"Ginagawa po namin lahat para hindi makansela iyung additional flights to the Middle East," she told radio DZMM.
(We are doing everything we can so that additional flights to Middle East will not be cancelled.)
"I am hoping for their (passengers') kind understanding. We are doing our best to manage the situation. Itong mga operational adjustments, hindi lang sa Philippine Airlines isinasagawa kundi pati sa ating mga kasama sa industriya," she said.
(These operational adjustments are being implemented not just by Philippine Airlines, but also by our partners in the industry.)
Villaluna also apologized to passengers who complained of long lines and authorities' failure to give updates on replacement flights.
The gap in the flow of information is due to the verification process, which PAL is seeking to improve, said Villaluna.
"Sa dami po ng mga pangangailangan, we are not giving excuses, humihingi po kami ng pang-unawa and we are giving our apology kung hindi agarang naipatupad ang kanilang mga pangangailangan," she said.
(Due to the number of needs, we are not giving excuses, we are asking for understanding and we are giving our apology if their needs were not immediately met.)
NAIA shuttered its main runway late Thursday after a Chinese plane ripped off its engine during a bumpy landing.
The runway reopened on Saturday noon, but excessive delays have continued to ground dozens of flights on Sunday.