Two Danish tourists backed out of a PAL flight to Cebu

Flag carrier Philippine Airlines reassured passengers on Sunday evening of the safety of its flights as it belied insinuations that overworked staff and untrained personnel are endangering its operations since it spun off three of its non-core businesses last Oct. 1. News reports telling that two Danish tourists backed out of a PAL flight to Cebu over safety concerns. It said the two reportedly questioned PAL’s replacement workers at the check-in counter including a supervisor about safety issues but were left unsatisfied with the answers.

In a note on its Facebook account, PAL dismissed as “black propaganda” allegations that it said came from some former PAL employees. It said it expects more black propaganda to come.

“We assure our passengers that all aircraft utilized in our flights are released only after thorough assessment and safety checks,” PAL president and COO Jaime Bautista said in the Facebook note.

Over the weekend, Gerry Rivera, head of the PAL Employees Association (PALEA), called on the Tourism Congress for an investigation of passenger safety issues at PAL.

“We ask the Tourism Congress to take up the cudgels for the riding public by inquiring about safety and service concerns at PAL given that overworked and untrained replacement workers are now servicing passengers. If the Tourism Congress is anxious about the impact of the labor dispute on the influx of tourists, then it should also be worried about any possible accidents due to unsafe work practices by contractual workers,” he said.

PAL is working to normalize its operations after spinning off three non-core businesses, which its then ground crew union had claimed would render 2,600 workers jobless.

Over the weekend, it claimed it had normalized its international flights.

Bautista said they expect “disinformation” to escalate especially since some disgruntled employees are getting “desperate by the day.”

“We hope our passengers will carefully discern fact from the fiction being peddled by those out to destroy the flag carrier’s good name and reputation,” he said.

He cited as one example of “black propaganda” the allegations that “overworked” PAL staff and untrained personnel were compromising airline safety.

Bautista reiterated that safety is the cornerstone of PAL’s operations, adding the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) has a surveillance inspection team especially assigned to PAL.

He said all PAL aircraft are maintained by Lufthansa Technik Philippines and other reputable maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) companies abroad.

All safety regulations are likewise complied with particularly those enforced by CAAP, US Federal Aviation Administration and US Transport Security Administration, as well as regular safety checks under the stringent IATA Operational Safety Audit (IOSA), he said.


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