Cebu Pacific plane veers off runway at Iloilo, forces closure of airport

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A Cebu Pacific plane. PHIL. STAR FILE PHOTO

MANILA – (UPDATE, 2:48 P.M) A Cebu Pacific plane veered off the runway at Iloilo International airport Friday night, forcing closure of the airport and stranding thousands of passengers.

The Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) ordered the closure and said in an advisory the airport will stay shut till 6pm Saturday (Oct. 14) while authorities and the airline worked to remove the aircraft.

“CAAP is doing its best to extract the aircraft so that flights will be normalized soon,” the national aviation authority said in a statement released Saturday morning.

CAAP assured the public that all the passengers of the Cebu Pacific airplane are safe and were ferried out to the terminal.

“We ask the public for understanding as ensuring passengers’ safety and security is paramount in maintaining our airports and skies safe for travel,” according to CAAP.

The Cebu Pacific plane carrying 180 passengers veered off the runway while landing in Iloilo at 11:10 p.m. Friday.
Flight 5J 561, bound for Iloilo from Manila, veered to the side of the runway after landing. The captain of the aircraft then initiated an evacuation of the passengers.

“Cebu Pacific is working with the authorities to investigate the incident and expedite the re-opening of the airport runway,” the airline stated.

On Saturday morning, the leading low-cost carrier said it had mounted two batches of additional flights to accommodate passengers on cancelled flights to and from Iloilo.

The additional flights are as follows:
Flight Route ETD ETA
5J359 Manila-Roxas 500pm 610pm
5J360 Roxas-Manila 640pm 750pm

These flights are in addition to the previously announced flights:
Flight Route ETD ETA
DG 6360 Roxas-Manila 1000am 1115am
5J357 Manila-Roxas 1020am 1130am
5J358 Roxas-Manila 1200nn 110pm
5J720 Davao-Roxas 500pm 630pm
5J721 Roxas-Davao 640pm 750pm

In a press statement, Cebu Pacific committed to provide land transfers between Iloilo and Roxas for all affected passengers.

Affected guests were also advised they could avail of the following options:
• Rebook their flights for travel within 30 days from original departure date;
• Reroute to alternate stations— Roxas, Bacolod or Kalibo for domestic flights; Cebu or Manila for the flights to and from Singapore; or
• Opt for full refund or travel fund.

All affected passengers will be entitled to a free round-trip travel voucher, said the airline.

Affected passengers were advised to call the Cebu Pacific hotline at (+632)702-0886, or message the official Cebu Pacific pages on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/ cebupacificair), or Twitter (@CebuPacificAir) to make changes to their flight schedules or avail of options above.