Philippine Airlines (PAL) registered the highest on-time performance (OTP) among Filipino air carriers for flight departures out of Manila in the second half of 2019.
According to information from the airline company, PAL’s mainline services achieved an all-time high of 92 percent on-time flights in October 2019, for international and domestic flights combined.
For July, August and September 2019, the flag carrier’s flights posted a steadily increasing OTP of 80 percent, 82 percent, and 89 percent, respectively. In all months, PAL performed seven percentage points higher than its closest competitors. Over the entire year, month by month, the PAL Group consistently maintained a lead of five to 15 percentage points in on-time departures from the Manila hub, including flights operated by PAL Express.
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The OTP rating is measured by the number of departures and arrivals that take place in less than 15 minutes after posted times, including cancellations. PAL’s surge in OTP since July is the result of concerted initiatives by PAL and PAL Express network and operations teams to achieve more efficient aircraft movement and schedule management, pre-flight passenger and ground handling processes, post-flight evaluation designed to refine and improve all action steps, and closer coordination with the airport and aviation authorities.
PAL’s 90.90 percent September OTP ranking for its London departures places the carrier at top 10 in over-all performance in London Heathrow.
This follows improvements in OTP earlier this year for the local airline industry. Together with other local carriers, PAL signed a pledge of commitment with the Aviation and Airports Sector of the Department of Transportation (DOTr) in late July vowing to work at improving performance through effective management of flight operations and usage of slots. Signatories also committed to accept accountability for causes of flight delays and cancellations within their control, as well as support the development of mechanisms of discipline for the entire industry.
In April 2019, PAL’s OTP was below 60 percent, but jumped to 80 percent and 82 percent in June and July, respectively. Other major airlines posted positive developments. Cebu Pacific, for example, peaked at 80 percent in the month of July from 60 percent in June.
While many delays are a result of airport infrastructure constraints beyond the control of airlines, PAL lauds the DOTr and its agencies, including the Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA), the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) and the Civil Aeronautics Board, for taking decisive steps to optimize the capacity and upgrade the efficiency of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) along with other airports and aviation facilities nationwide.
The combined efforts of the authorities and the airlines were instrumental in significantly improving the reliability of airline operations at the NAIA, which is the hub of various Philippine carriers. PAL operates the largest international airline hub at the NAIA complex, with flights out of NAIA Terminals 1, 2, and 3.