Xiamen Air to 'negotiate' with PH government over P33-million fine

MANILA, Philippines – Xiamen Air's finance team members are set to arrive in the Philippines on Friday, September 7, to negotiate with the Philippine government over the P33-million fine it imposed on the Chinese airline.

Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) General Manager Ed Monreal told this to the House committee on transportation on Wednesday, September 5.

"The Xiamen finance team [is] arriving this Friday to, parang mag-negotiate ho kami.... Pero 'di 'yun lahat. Malamang meron na po kaming ibang icha-charge. But as we speak, nasa P33 something million na po," said Monreal. 

(The Xiamen finance team is arriving this Friday to negotiate with us.... But the amount does not cover the full cost yet. We are still going to charge them for other things. But as we speak, it's at P33 million.) 

The House committee on transportation is looking into how a Xiamen Air plane skidded off the runway of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) and paralyzed operations at the country's premier airport for nearly two days. (READ: TIMELINE: Xiamen Air plane mishap at NAIA runway)

Monreal previously said the government is demanding that Xiamen Air initially pay P15 million to cover the rental cost of equipment used to remove the aircraft from the shoulder of the NAIA runway.

But during a Senate hearing on August 29, Monreal said the fine had ballooned to P33 million, as it will include the costs of the equipment rental fee from both the MIAA and third-party contractors as well as the costs of manpower for the extraction of the plane.

But he clarified Xiamen Air cannot be charged for the accident's impact on flight operations because it is "consequential."

On Tuesday, the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines said it supports the proposed creation of the Philippine Airport Development Corporation and the Philippine Transportation Safety Board to help "rationalize" the development of airports in the country. – Rappler.com 

Mara Cepeda

Mara Cepeda writes about politics and women’s rights for Rappler. She covers the House of Representatives and the Office of the Vice President. Got tips? Send her an email at mara.cepeda@rappler.com or shoot her a tweet @maracepeda.