Cebu Pac chief Lance Gokongwei explains why he took PAL flight instead of Cebu Pacific

  • President of Cebu Pacific seen taking flight of chief rival carrier
  • He explained he didn’t want to be late for his dinner meeting in Davao City with Rody Duterte
  • However, he ended up arriving late anyway as his PAL flight also got delayed

MANILA, Philippines – If anything, this story reflects Lance Gokongwei’s simplicity — and the sorry state of the country’s air transportation system.

Gokongwei, the president of Cebu Pacific, was seen boarding a flight of his company’s chief rival — Philippine Airlines — last Sunday, June 19, en route to a meeting with incoming president Rodrigo Duterte in Davao City.

According to ABS-CBN, Gokongwei — who rode economy for the Manila-Davao trip — explained he took PAL’s scheduled 3 PM flight because he wanted to arrive early.

“I wanted to enjoy Father’s Day lunch with my family. The first Cebu Pac flight to Davao in the afternoon was 4:35 PM and there was 3 PM PAL flight. I had a dinner to attend in Davao so I took the 3 PM (flight),” he said.

Gokongwei also reportedly told a fellow passenger he took the PAL flight because Cebu Pacific’s own afternoon flights usually get delayed.

In the end, however, his scheduled flight ended up also being delayed for more than two hours as the PAL plane took off from Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA)’s Terminal 2 at 5:15 PM.

The tycoon finally arrived in Davao City at 6:40 PM where he was picked up by Cebu Pacific personnel before meeting Duterte for dinner at the Marco Polo Hotel.

Gokongwei earlier expressed his support for both Duterte and his chosen finance secretary Sonny Dominguez.

“President-elect Duterte has a real mandate from the people and a real love for the people and the Philippines. JG Summit (Gokongwei conglomerate) will support him. His finance secretary is trustworthy, competent and recognized by the business community,” he said.