Philippines: Thousands stranded on New Year’s Day due to blackout at Manila airport | CNN



chaos erupted new year’s day In the Philippines, after a severe power outage at an airport temporarily disrupted air traffic control. causing nearly 300 flights to halt and stranded tens of thousands of travelers in the heart of Southeast Asia.

Ninoy Aquino International Airport (MNL) is the main gateway for travelers to the Philippines. It provides services in the capital city of Manila and the surrounding region.

Technical problems were first detected Sunday morning. The Philippine Civil Aviation Authority (CAAP) said in a statement.

A total of 282 flights were delayed, canceled or diverted to other regional airports. About 56,000 passengers were affected as of 4:00 p.m. local time on New Year’s Day, Reuters said it was not clear how many flights on the plane were affected.

At a news conference held on the evening of Sunday, Jan. 1, Philippine Transportation Secretary Jaime Bautista said: We apologize for the inconvenience caused to the passengers. It said the airport’s central air traffic control system suffered a severe power outage. even if there is a redundant power supply But it can’t supply enough power. he added

“This is a problem with the air traffic management system,” Bautista said. “If you compare (Our airport) and Singapore’s are, on the one hand, very different – ​​they are at least 10 years ahead of us,” he said.

Bautista added that his transportation department is also liaising with affected airlines to provide food, beverages, travel and accommodation. “Free for all affected passengers”

Among the flights affected by the airspace outage was a Manila-bound Qantas plane that departed Sydney just before 1pm local time on January 1, just three hours after its eight-hour journey. Flight QF19 was forced to divert halfway and back to australia

“All airlines were prevented from arriving in Manila on Sunday afternoon. because local authorities have closed down local airspace,” Qantas said in a statement. “That means our flight from Sydney has to turn around.”

Some operations resumed at 5:50 p.m. local time, CAAP said in an update. And the airport has started accepting inbound flights again. A statement from the Ministry of Transport shared on Facebook said: Airport operations returned to normal. While the restoration of the equipment continues.

Global air travel has been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. But passenger traffic is slowly recovering. Industry experts predict the industry will return to previously normal levels by 2025.

Photos and videos shared online show the massive crowds seen by NAIA queuing at various check-in counters. Many passengers dragging their luggage find themselves huddled around the flight arrival screens waiting for an update.

Manny V. Pangilinan Filipino Businessman Share on Twitter that he was returning to Manila from Tokyo But the plane had to return to Haneda Airport because “Radar and navigation at NAIA crashes.”

“Six hours of useless flying,” he said. “The inconvenience to travelers and the loss to tourism and business is appalling.” His plane finally landed in Manila at 11:00 p.m. local time, Panggilinan said.

Xavier Fernandez, a student, is among thousands affected by the New Year’s holiday disruption to flights. He spent hours on the phone with United Airlines and other aviation companies. to rebook a flight to San Francisco later “It was definitely a nightmare.” he told CNN. He added that he had been at the airport for more than 10 hours.

Fernandez also said that There are other passengers that boarded the plane on Sunday morning before the power outage was announced. and eventually had to get off the plane after waiting for hours on board.

A massive flight disruption comes amid a turbulent year-end travel in the Philippines. Many foreign tourists, including citizens from abroad, fly into the country from abroad to celebrate Christmas and New Year. which is the most important holiday of the country

Fernandez was in Manila celebrating Christmas and New Year with his family.

“Really the worst way to start the year,” he says of the episode.

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