Low cost carrier Cebu Pacific blames Pratt & Whitney for flight disruptions

Sudpoth Sirirattanasakul / Shutterstock.com / ridewithbarli TikTok account

Philippine low-cost carrier Cebu Pacific has attributed its series of flight cancellations to engine manufacturer Pratt and Whitney, citing the delay of jet engine deliveries as the reason for operational disruptions.

This was the essence of the airline’s explanation before a Senate hearing held on June 21, 2023. The hearing was prompted by mounting customer complaints about the airline’s widespread cancellation of domestic and international flights.

“The global aviation industry has been impacted by Pratt & Whitney engine issues,” Cebu Pacific chief commercial officer Alexander Lao told the senate, as published by local media BusinessWorld Online

Lao said that the airline had anticipated the global shortage of jet engines, so it had already placed its order with Pratt and Whitney back in 2022. 

Lao claimed that in March 2023, the American engine manufacturer advised them that “there were no more engines”, as a result of which the airline made adjustments to its flight schedules. 

In a statement published by various local media, the airline said: “While Cebu Pacific provisioned double the level of recommended spare engines as early as last year, we were advised in March 2023 that we would no longer receive the spare engine support that Pratt and Whitney had previously indicated. Immediately upon receiving such advice, we sought to adjust our flight schedule accordingly to minimize the impact. A number of flights, which were scheduled and sold months in advance, inevitably had to be disrupted.”

One of the senators presiding over the hearing went on to question why the airline continued to aggressively market airfare promos when it knew about the jet engine shortage and limitations.

Cebu Pacific is known to entice consumers with cheap ticket promotions such as PHP 1.00 fares ( $0.018).

Over the past few months, frustrated passengers have uploaded video clips showing disgruntled customers dealing with Cebu Pacific’s flight cancellations.


Waited 8 Hours!! Cancelled FLIGHT! 💔🥺 TABANG LORD! 😢 THE BEST BIRTHDAY EVER! #cebupacific #cebupacificairline #cancelledflight #omicronupdate #fyp

♬ original sound – RY – Megs ♡

#cebupacificdelayedflight #neveragaincebupacific👊🏻 dameng rason 1. Walang bay daw to park 2.may maintenance daw need ayusin sa eroplano 3.dahil sa ulan 4.walang piloto 5. Expired yung pass ng mga cabin crew 6.walang piloto! 6-7hours delay!

♬ original sound – Liam – Liam

A Pratt & Whitney spokesperson told AeroTime that it expects industry-wide supply chain pressures to ease later this year, “which will support increased output of new and overhauled engines.”

“In the interim, we are providing direct logistical support to our suppliers as well as developing solutions to improve time on wing,” the spokesperson said. 

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