PHILIPPINE Airlines, Inc. (PAL) and Cebu Pacific showed significant improvements in their on-time performance (OTP) in July, two weeks after they signed signed pledges to improve with the Department of Transportation (DOTr).

In a statement on Friday, PAL had a running average OTP of 82% from 80% in June. It was under 60% in April.

Cebu Pacific improved to 77% from 60% in June.

OTP is based on the number of departures and arrivals within 15 minutes of the scheduled time, counting flight cancellations.

Both airlines said the improvements came after five airlines signed the pledge on June 26, signifying their support for improving the air sector’s performance and aid in the decongestion of Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) “through improved on-time flight performance, supporting the development of other gateways including Sangley Airport in Cavite, and improving the travel experience of air passengers.”

The pledge was signed with the Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA), Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP), and Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB).

“I can confirm that our participation in the (pledge) really helped improve our OTP. At the same time, we will continue to improve our internal processes and collaborate with CAAP, MIAA and CAB to make sure that our passengers will have a better experience when traveling to the Philippines,” Stanley Ng, vice president for flight operations of PAL, said in a statement.

On the other hand, Michael Ivan Shau, chief operations officer of Cebu Pacific, said, “Coordinated and concerted efforts from all stakeholders resulted in OTP improvement at the NAIA, and we will remain in cooperation with the government under the (pledge) to ease the travel of the public.”

They also noted that the daily release of OTP, which started May, has helped them improve their performance.

Both the DoTr and MIAA acknowledged the efforts of both airlines to improve their quality of service, and hoped that this spreads to other airlines, as well.

“I thank PAL and Cebu Pacific for their efforts to improve OTP. It is my hope that this be increased, and that more and more airlines follow suit,” Transport Secretary Arthur P. Tugade said.

“I laud the airline operators for doing their part to give Filipinos a comfortable life through improved on-time flight performance. We shall continue in this direction as we work on a number of solutions to decongest the NAIA,” MIAA General Mananger Ed V. Monreal said. — Vincent Mariel P. Galang