CAAP closes Iloilo int’l airport after Cebu Pacific runway incident

Photo Screen shot from Facebook post of JP Janolino Peñol via rappler.com

By VJ Bacungan/CNN Philippines – Air transport authorities have temporarily shut down the Iloilo International Airport after a Cebu Pacific plane overshot the runway on Friday night.

The Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) issued a “Notice to Airmen” saying the airport will be closed until around 7 p.m. Sunday.

“CAAP is doing its best to extract the aircraft so that flights will be normalized soon,” it said. “We ask the public for understanding as ensuring passengers safety and security is paramount in maintaining our airports and skies safe for travel.”

All passengers safe

Cebu Pacific 5J 461, an Airbus A320 with 180 passengers and six crew members onboard, overshot the runway and veered into a nearby rice field due to heavy rains that brought strong winds.

The CAAP and Cebu Pacific said all the passengers and crew members on the plane were evacuated and are safe.

The flight left the Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Manila at 10 p.m. Friday and landed at in Iloilo around 11:15 p.m.

In a Facebook video, Ilonggo Pastor Henry Senina showed they stayed inside the plane for 20 minutes before exiting through the emergency slide.

“Praise the Lord,” he said. “Galing ako nag speak sa Pastor’s conference sa Batangas. Akala ko that was my homegoing with the Lord. I led a thanksgiving prayer inside the plane while waiting for the Rescue.”

[Translation: I came from a speaking engagement at a Pastor’s conference in Batangas. I thought that was my homegoing with Lord. I led a thanksgiving prayer inside the plane while waiting for rescue teams.]

Cebu Pacific said it is working with authorities to clear the runway and to investigate the incident.

Cancelled flights

Cebu Pacific also said it will deploy flights and provide transportation to and from Roxas City, some 110 km away from Iloilo, to accommodate passengers.

The additional flights are as follows:

Flight Route ETD ETA

DG 6360 Roxas-Manila 10:00 a.m. 11:15 a.m.
5J 357 Manila-Roxas 10:20 a.m. 11:30 a.m.
5J 358 Roxas-Manila 12:00 noon 1:10 p.m.
5J 720 Davao-Roxas 5:00 p.m. 6:30 p.m.
5J 721 Roxas-Davao 6:40 p.m. 7:50 p.m.
Philippine Airlines said it will also deploy replacement flights.

“Affected passengers may also rebook/refund within 30 days from original flight date with rebook/refund charges waived,” the airline said on Saturday.

Meanwhile, here are the canceled flights at Iloilo International Airport:

Oct. 14, 2017

Flight Route

Cebu Pacific 5J 468 Iloilo-Manila
Cebu Pacific 5J 449/450 Manila-Iloilo-Manila
Cebu Pacific 5J 451/452 Manila-Iloilo-Manila
Cebu Pacific 5J 453/454 Manila-Iloilo-Manila
Cebu Pacific 5J 721/720 Iloilo-Davao-Iloilo
Cebu Pacific 5J 255/256 Iloilo-Singapore-Iloilo
CebGo DG 6408/6409 Cebu-Iloilo-Cebu
Cebu Pacific 5J 447/448 Manila-Iloilo-Manila
Cebu Pacific 5J 467/468 Manila-Iloilo-Manila
Cebu Pacific 5J 457/458 Manila-Iloilo-Manila
Cebu Pacific 5J 247/248 Iloilo-General Santos-Iloilo
Cebu Pacific 5J 165 Iloilo-Cebu
Philippine Airlines PR 2139/2140 Manila-Iloilo-Manila
Philippine Airlines PR 2141/2142 Manila-Iloilo-Manila
Philippine Airlines PR 2143/2144 Manila-Iloilo-Manila
Philippine Airlines PR 2380/2381 Cebu-Iloilo-Cebu

Oct. 15, 2017

Flight Route

Cebu Pacific 5J 451/452 Manila-Iloilo-Manila
Cebu Pacific 5J 453/454 Manila-Iloilo-Manila
Cebu Pacific 5J 457/458 Manila-Iloilo-Manila
Cebu Pacific 5J 468 Iloilo-Manila
Cebu Pacific 5J 348/347 Davao-Iloilo-Davao
CebGo DG 6408/6409 Cebu-Iloilo-Cebu
Cebu Pacific said guests with concerns regarding their flights may 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).

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