Pilots quit; PAL forced to cancel 11 flights

FLAG CARRIER Philippine Airlines (PAL) cancelled 11 flights on Saturday after a number of pilots "indiscriminately" resigned.

"The pilots [left] their posts without proper notice. They have written us letters but those are not enough. According to the labor law, the pilots should have given us 180 days to process their resignations. Most of these pilots left us because of better offers. We will [impose] the proper sanctions," PAL said in a statement.

The Lucio C. Tan-led airline cancelled eight domestic and three international flights assigned to 180-seater Airbus A320 planes.

The flights cancelled were bound for Cebu (PR 843), Cagayan (PR 181), Bacolod (PR 133), Iloilo (PR 147). Other flights were supposed to arrive from Cebu (PR 344), Cagayan (PR 182), Bacolod (PR 134) and Iloilo (PR 148).

Two flights from Hong Kong to Manila were also cancelled (PR 313 and PR 319) along with another flight going to Hong Kong (PR 318).

"The pilots should have given us enough time to find replacements and assess their current status. The allowance of 180 days will give us time to check whether they still have pending obligations like loans that they need to settle before we can let them resign," PAL said.

It added: "They still owe us the payments to the aviation traning [programs] they have attended." -- Aura Marie P. Dagcutan

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