Last evening I was waiting at NAIA (Manila International Airport) for Air Asia flight Z2616 from Davao, scheduled time of arrival around 11:50pm - the flight arrivals board said "Delayed".
This is not uncommon with other evening flights from Davao (from Cebu Pacific Air and Philippines Airlines) but I had been informed that the particular aircraft for this flight had arrived Davao on time, so I questioned why it was delayed on the return from Davao to Manila. I tried to telephone my partner in Davao, who had told me she had boarded on-time, and to my surprise she informed me that flight had not yet left Davao and was still awaiting approval to depart.
Apparently, this Air Asia flight was awaiting clearance of its aircraft maintenance documents, which had been "sent to Manila for approval"!
A full hour later, at 1.00am the flight was eventually allowed to depart Davao, having had the passengers wait, seated, on board the aircraft for the best part of three hours.
When the flight finally arrived Manila just before 3.00am, the passengers were understandably a little upset . . . more so because (a) they were prevented from taking food and drinks aboard themselves and (b) no refreshments (not even water) were available on board neither, during the 3-hour wait, aboard, on the ground nor, during the 90-minute flight to Manila.
Apparently, Air Asia did eventually arrange for provision of "Jollibee" food and drinks to be delivered to the aircraft at Davao International Airport, but because they would not arrive at the aircraft until "1.30am", the captain (sensibly perhaps) decided that flying to Manila was more important than waiting yet another 30 minutes (maybe) for the refreshments to arrive.
My questions are:
who is responsible for approving the maintenance documents before a flight can depart?
why did it take so long for these approvals, for this flight?
why were passengers encouraged to board an aircraft where maintenance documents may show an aircraft is unfit to fly?
why are there no standby arrangements available/prepared in Davao International Airport for refreshments for flights when delayed for such a long period?
Can anyone answer these questions? because for sure this particular flight has exposed a number of deficiencies in either the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines and/or Davao International Airport and/or Air Asia