Cebu Pa­cific in­vests in fa­cil­i­ties for Per­sons with Re­duced Mo­bil­ity

Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro - - Billboard -

The Philip­pines’ lead­ing car­rier, Cebu Pa­cific (PSE: CEB), is set to roll-out Dis­abled Pas­sen­ger Lifts (DPLs) in key air­ports na­tion­wide. The DPLs which would al­low Per­sons with Re­duced Mo­bil­ity (PRMs) an eas­ier and more com­fort­able board­ing ex­pe­ri­ence on Cebu Pa­cific flights.

CEB is the first air­line to in­vest in its own DPLs, in line with its thrust to im­prove pas­sen­ger ex­pe­ri­ence. The use of the DPL is free of charge for Cebu Pa­cific pas­sen­gers with re­duced mo­bil­ity. Aside from PWDs, these in­clude preg­nant and el­derly pas­sen­gers who may have dif­fi­culty climb­ing stairs to board their flights.

CEB has in­vested over PHP100 Mil­lion for the pro­cure­ment and in­stal­la­tion of 35 brand-new DPLs. The first DPL was in­stalled in the Ni­noy Aquino In­ter­na­tional Air­port Ter­mi­nal 3 in March 2017 for test­ing and eval­u­a­tion. Since July 2017, the DPL has been used to lift PWDs, preg­nant and el­derly pas­sen­gers on a lim­ited num­ber of CEB flights.

Michael Ivan Shau, Vice Pres­i­dent for Air­port Ser­vices of Cebu Pa­cific said that the rest of the DPL units would be in­stalled start­ing 2018. Six more units would be placed at the NAIA Ter­mi­nal 3, with the rest de­ployed to other CEB hubs across the coun­try, namely, Clark, Kal­ibo, Iloilo, Cebu and Davao; as well as high-traf­fic air­ports across the coun­try with CEB op­er­ates flight us­ing Air­bus air­craft. Tar­get com­ple­tion is by June 2018.

“We are look­ing at ini­tia­tives to im­prove the pas­sen­ger ex­pe­ri­ence for ev­eryJuan. For our PWD pas­sen­gers and those with re­duced mo­bil­ity, we rec­og­nize that the ex­pe­ri­ence of be­ing lifted man­u­ally can be un­com­fort­able. In­vest­ing in the DPLs will al­low us to board and de­plane pas­sen­gers with re­duced mo­bil­ity safely, with min­i­mal dis­com­fort,” said Shau.

In 2016 alone, over 43,000 pas­sen­gers availed of wheel­chair as­sis­tance from the check-in counter. Of this num­ber, more than 14,000 were wheeled from the check-in counter and car­ried to their seats in the air­craft.

The DPL was in­tro­duced in 1998 by in­ter­na­tional air­craft ser­vice provider Air­port Main­te­nance Ser­vices– Ground Ser­vice Equip­ment to give air­ports a safe, com­fort­able and dig­ni­fied way to get PRMs on and off air­craft. The DPL al­lows PRMs, as well as their com­pan­ions or ser­vice agents to board the air­craft or de­plane via the air­craft door des­ig­nated by the air­lines. To date, there have been at least 500 DPLs used world­wide.

For PWDs and other PRMs who need wheel­chair as­sis­tance, they sim­ply need to tick the box in­di­cat­ing this re­quire­ment upon book­ing their flights.

Cebu Pa­cific has also re­cently im­ple­mented the 20% dis­count on base fares and 12% value-added tax (VAT) ex­emp­tion for all do­mes­tic flights for PWDs and se­nior cit­i­zens across all its book­ing chan­nels. CEB has also in­te­grated the do­mes­tic ter­mi­nal fees into CEB ticket costs—all aimed to pro­vide guests with a more con­ve­nient and has­sle-free flight ex­pe­ri­ence.

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