Finally, 5J Says Sorry, Pays Fine

Our service was found wanting

21 January 2015

Cebu Pacific Chief Executive Officer Lance Gokongwei apologized at Congress Wednesday for the flight delays and cancellations during the Yuletide travel rush.

Appearing at the hearing of the House of Representatives’ transportation committee, Gokongwei admitted that the chaos was caused by the lack of aircraft and personnel to men Cebu Pacific’s check-in counters at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 3.

The Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) imposed a P52-million fine against the airline for operational lapses and a disproportionate number of delayed and canceled flights over the Christmas holidays.

CAB Executive Director Carmelo Arcilla, said Cebu Pacific was not the only airline penalized for violations of the CAB law last year. Arcilla noted that PAL Express was also fined P8 million while Emirates was fined P1.8 million last year for selling tickets without CAB approval.

Arcilla however admits that this is the biggest penalty handed by the regulator to the airline.

"We are waiting the final legal advice as to whatever basis of amount discussed, because of the serious precedence it may set for other issues in the previous past, as it affects the entire industry...

"But certainly we do agree there should be a penalty in place," Gokongwei said.


  1. Bayan Muna Rep. Neri Colmenares believes that the reason for the chaos during Christmas was “overbooking, not “absenteeism” of its ground crew alone.

    Topserve Management is the ground handling agent of Cebu Pacific since 2008 for its domestic flights while International flights are handled by Macroasia.

    Colmenares said overbooking should be prohibited, arguing that since no-show passengers are already penalized, there is no need for airlines to overbook.

    "In fact, it is to the advantage of the airline kapag may no-show dahil doble kita eh. Bakit hindi natin gawing sistema na wala ng overbooking, madami namang waitlisted? Malulugi ba talaga ang airline kung wala ng overbooked at waitlisted lang ang ilagay?” asked Colmenares.

  2. It's good that they have admitted their lapses and also with the penalty being imposed upon them (although still contesting for the amount). They should grow up and improve their services, we all know its already a cramped up airplane so all they can do is to maximise their services offered to their customers. I hope this will be a strong precedence that airline companies IN PHL will improve their services whether be it a legacy carrier or LCC.

  3. I will still fly 5J because the promo tickets are way cheaper than taking the 3 days boat ride to ozamis. This is just one part of the growing pains of the Philippine airline industry. Plane rides are becoming the masses choice of island travel. Twenty years ago , sailin g in a cramped boat on a 3 day trip going back home was the norm. I really hope 5J would learn from this incident and set up more check in counters and hire more ground staff during peak flying season.

    1. And hoping that PAL/PAL Express would step up and take the helm in leading the industry to quality service.

  4. I think the reason why 5J is such a shitty airline is because it is owned & run by a Filipino-Chinese! Yes, I know that sounded racist, but let me explain by merely stating the obvious. Big business in the Philippines is dominated by the Filipino-Chinese, so-called tycoons, yet none of these businesses can lay claim to superb quality & service. Let's take a look at real estate for example. Not one single real estate development company owned by a Filipino-Chinese can proudly boast a reputation of first-class quality & service. Megaworld, SMDC, Robinsons (another Gokongwei corp), etc, etc… all SUCK big time, from construction quality to post-handover maintenance & support. If you want high quality in this sector, you go for Ayala or Rockwell - the top two developers in the country, both not owned by Filipino-Chinese. But that's not to say that other non-Fil-Chi developers are great either (Villar's company as an example, or in another industry - Globe Telecom, an Ayala company), but we can't escape the fact that Filipino-Chinese businesses cannot deliver a quality product or service. Even PAL, another tycoon-owned entity, which although marginally better than 5J, is still one of the shittiest full-service airlines in the world. What about the malls? SM & Robinsons are not quality malls. Again, Rockwell and Ayala are tops here.

    I thought Lance would be better than the other tycoons. After all, he's armed with an Ivy-league degree, and cum laude no less. But I suppose it's the Chinese DNA that's got the better of him. Perhaps the same reason why the "Made in China" label has such a shitty reputation worldwide.

  5. Sorry i beg to disagree. No Filipino owned company is world class period. Filipinos are not known for producing anything world class. It hurts but thats the truth.

    1. Disagree with what? Again... look at real estate and shopping malls. No comparison between Ayala/Rockwell and the Chinoy developers.