By: Jeannette I. Andrade
Philippine Daily Inquirer
04:30 AM November 5th, 2015
The country’s flag carrier Philippine Airlines (PAL) and Air Asia Philippines cancelled nearly 300 domestic and international flights in anticipation of disruptions in runway operations on the week of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) Summit.
In an advisory, PAL announced it was grounding 115 domestic and 96 international flights from Nov. 15 to 20 “to give way to the arrival and departure of Apec leaders.”
The Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) had announced periods of temporary runway closure at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport as part of the protocol for the arrival and departure of world leaders.
Heads of state are expected to arrive on Nov. 16 and 17 for the summit which will be held on the 18th and 19th. They are expected to leave Manila on Nov. 19 and 20.
“PAL assures affected passengers that the airline will reschedule their flights with rebooking and penalty charges waived,” the advisory said.
Likewise, passengers with confirmed flights on Nov. 15, 16, 17, 18, 19 or 20 have the option to rebook within 30 days from their original schedule “for as long as the new schedule falls within the ticket validity period.” They can also refund the full ticket cost.
PAL said that it may cancel more flights depending on the flight movements of the heads of state attending the summit.
Meanwhile, Air Asia cancelled 74 domestic and 10 international flights from Nov. 17 to 20, also to give way to the arrival of heads of state.
The airline gave passengers on the cancelled flights the option to rebook within 30 days of the date of their original flight schedule or get a refund. Affected flyers may also avail of a credit shell within 90 days of the cancelled flight.
A credit shell, according to Air Asia, is “a credit account where monies paid towards a booking are stored.” The number issued, which is practically the booking number, in a credit shell account that may be used by passengers to transfer flights.