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Expect more flight delays due to domino effect of PH airspace shutdown —airlines

Some airlines on Monday advised passengers to expect more flight delays and cancellations due to the domino effect of the temporary shutdown of Philippine airspace on Sunday.

Interviewed on Dobol B TV, Philippine Airlines spokesperson Cielo Villaluna said that stranded aircrafts are expected to return to their respective bases within 72 hours.

“Within this 72-hour period, hindi ibig sabihin na 'yung mga flights na mag-ooperate sa araw na ito ay en punto makakaalis because may domino effect po 'yan,” she said.

(Within this 72-hour period, it does not mean that the flights that are set to operate on a particular day would be able to take off on schedule because there was a domino effect.)

“To manage the expectations of all passengers, kung may flight po kayo ngayon at wala naman abiso regarding cancellation, please expect flight delays,” she added.

(To manage the expectations of all passengers, if you have a flight today and there is no advisory about flight cancellations, please expect flight delays.)

READ: LIST: Canceled flights on Monday, January 2, 2023

In a separate interview on Dobol B TV, AirAsia Philippines external communications and public affairs manager Carlo Carongoy said they expect that there would be delays in some flights due to the temporary closure.

“Bagamat may mga lumipad po kanina, we expect din po may ilang minutong delays po 'yan gawa ng pangyayari kahapon,” he said.

(Even though there were some flights that departed earlier today, we also expect that there would be a few minutes of delay due to what happened yesterday.)

The airlines advised passengers to regularly check the status of their flights and monitor their announcements.

The Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) on Monday doused speculations that its system was hacked following the glitch that practically closed the Philippine airspace on New Year's Day.

CAAP spokesperson Eric Apolonio said in an interview on Dobol B TV that the Communications, Navigation and Surveillance Systems for Air Traffic Management (CNS/ATM) is the "most well-secured facility" of CAAP.

The agency also issued a statement on Monday saying the power supply problem which effectively closed down the Philippine airspace on New Year’s Day is now being investigated by the CAAP's Aerodrome and Air Navigation Safety Oversight Office (AANSOO).

At least 282 flights were canceled, diverted, or delayed on Sunday, January 1, as CAAP recorded a technical issue at the Philippine Air Traffic Management Center (ATMC) at 9:50 a.m.

Some 56,000 passengers were affected at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).

Transport officials on Sunday said an ‘outdated’ system caused the glitch that caused the closure of Philippine airspace.

The CAAP said one of the uninterruptible power supplies (UPS) failed on Sunday morning, and troubleshooting activities had to be done.

Once the system was reconnected to the power supply, however, warnings were released at around lunch time due to over voltage as 380 volts were coming in instead of 220 volts. This then affected the very small aperture terminal (VSAT), which also had to be addressed.

The Department of Transportation (DOTr) on Sunday said the system was partially restored as of 4 p.m., and flights have already resumed both arriving and departing. 

“We’re expecting mga 72 hours po siguro for them to fully recover the flights,” Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) General Manager Cesar Chiong said.

(We're expecting it would probably take 72 hours for [carriers] to fully recover the flights.)

Meanwhile, around 3,000 overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) were assisted in the rebooking of their flights following the incident, the Department of Migrant Workers (DMW) said Monday. —KG, GMA Integrated News