Dozens of flights cancelled at Manila airport after power outage

About 40 domestic Cebu Pacific flights cancelled in the Philippines after second power outage at main gateway this year.

A man takes a picture of passengers queueing at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport, in Pasay City, Metro Manila, Philippines, January 2, 2023
Ninoy Aquino International Airport cancelled about 40 flights following an unexplained power outage [File: Eloisa Lopez/Reuters

Dozens of flights have been cancelled at the Philippines’s biggest international airport following an unexplained power outage.

About 40 domestic Cebu Pacific flights were cancelled on Monday following the power cut at Manila airport’s Terminal 3, the airport said in a statement.

“Flight delays are expected due to the outage”, Ninoy Aquino International Airport said in a statement posted on Facebook, without elaborating on the cause of the power failure.

Airline and immigration computers were still able to function partially and process inbound and outbound passengers, the statement said.

Manila Electric Company, the airport’s operator, said it was looking into the cause of the power outage, which disrupted the travel plans of many Filipinos trying to return home after the three-day Labor Day weekend.

Cebu Pacific said in a statement it offered its passengers the option to rebook or receive a refund to be put in a travel fund for future use.

President Ferdinand Marcos Jr instructed Transportation Secretary Jaime Bautista to restore normal power operations at the airport’s Terminal 3 “as soon as possible” while providing assistance to affected passengers, the presidential office said in a statement.

The travel disruption comes after a power outage at the country’s main gateway in January disrupted some 300 flights, affecting about 65,000 passengers.

Ninoy Aquino International Airport was last year ranked the world’s worst international airport for business-class travel, according to a ranking by California-based luggage storage app Bounce, which cited the gateway’s lack of facilities and poor record of delays and cancellations.

The Philippines is building multibillion-dollar airports in provinces surrounding Manila to help take pressure off the main gateway.

On Sunday, Marcos Jr said his administration would step in to assist efforts to resolve power outages in the central islands of Negros and Panay, where residents have experienced blackouts of up to 12 hours since Thursday.

Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies