Xiamen Air says sorry days after runway mishap

MANILA, Philippines – Xiamen Air apologized on Monday, August 20, to passengers affected by the runway mishap that left thousands of passengers stranded at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) over the weekend.

It took Xiamen Air more than 3 days since its passenger plane skidded off a NAIA runway on Thursday evening, August 16, before it posted this apology on its Facebook page.

"Xiamen Airlines sincerely apologizes to all passengers affected by the incident and will do everything in its power to help these passengers," said Xiamen Air chairman Che Shanglun in a statement on Monday.

The company explained that continuous thunderstorms made it "extremely difficult" to move their plane, causing the main runway "to be closed for over 32 hours and leaving many flights delayed and passengers stranded."

"We are currently cooperating with the Civil Aviation Authority of [the] Philippines and the Civil Aviation Administration of China to investigate...the cause of the incident. In the meantime, all Xiamen Airlines' flights to [the] Philippines will operate normally to transport passengers," Che said. 

Che also thanked Manila airport authorities for helping Xiamen Air in accommodating passengers and helping "move the plane away from the runway."

Malacañang earlier on Monday demanded an apology from the airline for the runway mishap. 

"It's not just an apology we will ask for. We are now conducting an investigation if there's any liability on the part of the Xiamen Air pilot. That's why he has been asked not to leave the country," said Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque. – Rappler.com